FROM the all-women Highway Patrol Team helping man traffic on busy EDSA to the recently-launched all-women Maria Municipal Police Station in Siquijor province, the Philippine National Police show affirmation of its women empowerment program in the 195,000-strong organization.
Recognizing the major role and importance of women in the police force is one of the priority programs of the PNP leadership headed by General Oscar D. Albayalde and saying that the country’s policewomen have proven their worth in all aspects of policing would be an understatement, officials said.
Apart from doing undercover works, female police personnel are assigned to PNP Women and Children Desks across the country which were created to help protect women from domestic violence and investigate all cases of prostitution, cyber crimes and other exploitation of Filipino women and their kids.
Two weeks ago, PNP Highway Patrol Group director, Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz fielded an all-women HPG Riders’ Team to help man traffic and go after criminals along the 23.8-kilometer long EDSA.
“This is a 48-strong all-women team of Riders who are trained to shoot, knows self-defense and most importantly, will bring a different brand of HPG presence on EDSA,” said Cruz.
To show real women empowerment in HPG, Cruz said at least 10 HPG female Big Bike-riding officers will be helping man traffic and crisscross the busy thoroughfare ready to offer a lending help to motorists or keep peace and order at a given time.
The policewomen are supported by their male buddies in providing 20-hour duties along EDSA on a rotation basis.
“Ang advantage ng mga female HPG Riders ay mas madaling lumambot ang loob ng mga motorista pag nakakakita ng mga babaeng pulis na nagta-traffic sa gitna ng araw o ulan,” Cruz said.
Last Saturday, the Police Regional Office 7 headed by Brig. Gen. Debold M. Sinas made history by launching the country’s 1st-ever all-women municipal police station in a municipality in Siquijor Island aptly known as ‘Maria.’
Sinas said the activation of the ‘Mariang Pulis’ force of the Maria Municipal Police Station is part of their game-changing reform on women empowerment in the police force earning him and Siquijor Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Angela Q. Rejano congratulations from Gen. Albayalde.
“This move will strongly advance women empowerment in promoting public safety and security services at all levels of police units and offices in the region,” said Sinas of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987.
The women-dominated police station follows a rich history of the municipality of Maria, the Central Visayas police director said.
He explained that long before the Spaniards came to Siquijor, a settlement known as “Kangminya,” named after a famous native woman, already existed. It was eventually renamed “Maria” in honor of “Our Lady of Divine Providence” which became the town’s Patron Saint.
Prior to the launch, Maria Police Station was complimented by only six policewomen. Thus, Rejano profiled all female officers in Siquijor and selected those who will undertake a capacity development training.
Sinas said the policewomen were trained on driving, shooting, arresting techniques, and other police operation and intervention procedures such as checkpoint, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), and First Aid, among others.
Maria Police Station is now operating in full capacity with 21 total police strength, the ideal police force for a Class C municipality.