THREE more police helicopters are due for delivery before June this year as the Philippine National Police continues to beef-up its ‘move, shoot, communicate and investigate’ capabilities in 2020, PNP chief, Director General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said.
“Year 2020 will see the PNP literally soaring to greater heights with a fleet of ten rotary-wing aircraft that will provide tactical support to ground operations of PNP Units. At present we have seven operational helicopters currently in service with the PNP-SAF Air Unit. Three more helicopters are due for delivery and acceptance before midyear of this year including three H-125 helicopters,” the PNP-chief had earlier told the Journal Group.
The PNP will also be getting Body-Worn Cameras or BWCs set to be worn by policemen actually performing anti-narcotics operations, checkpoints and even service of search warrants for various crimes, he said. The BWCs will be coming by April or May this year.
Gen. Gamboa added that the PNP will also utilize a P1.09 billion project to finance its information, communications and technology or ICT program this year.
“The modernization and procurement of more mission-essential equipment for mobility, firepower, communication and investigation will be the hallmark of PNP administrative thrusts for the year with greater emphasis on PNP best practices in transparency and public accountability in all procurement transactions,” he said.
According to Gen. Gamboa, the almost 100% absorptive capacity of the PNP in terms of utilizing government appropriations for capital outlay will remain to be the standard.
“On top of the administrative management initiatives for the year is the continued development of the PNP’s greatest resource which is our manpower. For the year, we will welcome 17,000 more personnel into our ranks thru our annual recruitment program,” he added.
Last week, Gen. Gamboa said that despite being stripped of their procurement power by President Duterte, he still believes that their ‘big ticket projects’ won’t be affected.
“Wala naman masyado. There is no problem with regard to that big ticket items of the PNP,” the top cop said citing the PNP’s practice of early procurement.
At present, the top cop said their have only four pending big-ticket projects which are still under procurement procedures.
PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac maintained that the PNP’s ‘best practices’ in procurement transactions over the past three years of the Duterte administration have resulted in huge savings for the government and improved operational capacity of PNP units which are now in possession of much better mission-essential tools, mobile assets and resources.
“We assure the public that we will never allow corruption in the PNP. The PNP has a very good record of procurement for the last 3 years with absorptive capacity of 98 percent with no protests from proponents,” the official said.
According to PNP Director for Logistics, Major General Edwin C. Roque, two 4-seater single engine Air Bus turbine helicopters worth P225 million each, three units of 6-seater twin-enginer rotary blade helicopters at P436 million each and a powerful C-293 transport plane which is a smaller version of the popular C-130 will be already in the PNP air assets by Year 2020.
Roque said that the P1.8 billion worth C-293 can carry a platoon of police commandos and one Hummer transport vehicle.
The PNP last year allotted roughly P1.135 billion to procure additional aircrafts and patrol boats needed to help counter the presence of international drug traffickers, kidnappers and other lawless elements in the country..
The money--P1,134,388, 799.38 to be exact--will also be used to improve the PNP’s response in any disaster or emergency situation taking place in the local seawaters.
The PNP Bids and Awards Committee last year approved the procurement of 28 units of high-speed tactical watercraft amounting to P336,000,000. So far, seven of the units have been delivered to the PNP and are already being used by the police.
Another 18 more units of similar high-speed tactical watercraft are programmed under the 2019 procurement program as additional equipment for maritime operations, police visibility in the shorelines, and maritime law enforcement and public safety operations.
In support of seaborne maritime patrol operations, the PNP is also adding five more single engine turbine and training helicopters with the total price of P798,388,799.98 to its fleet that is expected to be delivered this coming August to help bolster anti-terror operations and air support to maritime patrol operations in high seas.
The corruption-free bidding process last year also enabled the PNP to save enough money which was used to procure 107 brand-new patrol vehicles, officials said.