PNP proposes entry of more professionals into police force

THE Philippine National Police leadership is also asking the help of the 18th Congress in passing a law that will allow other baccalaureate degree holders to be included in its Lateral Entry Program as part of its effort to further professionalize the organization, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

Specifically, the PNP headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde wants Congress to amend the specific provision of the Lateral Entry Program for Line Officers under Section 33 of Republic Act 6975 to include other baccalaureate degrees. The legislative proposal was forwarded to Congress by the PNP Directorate for Plans headed by Major General Jonas B. Calleja.

Section 33 of RA 6975 refers to the Lateral Entry of Officers into the PNP. It says that in general, original appointments of commissioned officers in the PNP shall commence with the rank of inspector, to include all those with highly technical qualifications applying for PNP technical services, such as dentist, optometrists, nurses, engineers, and graduates of forensic sciences.

Doctors of medicine, members of the Bar, and chaplains shall be appointed to the rank of senior inspector in their particular technical service. Graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) shall be automatically appointed to the initial rank of inspector. Licensed criminologists may be appointed to the rank of inspector to fill up any vacancy after promotions from the ranks are completed,” the same law says.

However, the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management headed by Major General Lyndon B. Cubos, also the chair of the PNP sub-committee on human resource management and strengthened disciplinary mechanism, had proposed a revision of Section 33 of RA 6975 that will allow the lateral entry of officers into the PNP of other baccalaureate degree holders as part of the PNP’s legislative agenda for the18th Congress.

According to PNP-DPRM Deputy Director, Brigadier General Emmanuel Luis D. Licup, they have proposed that other baccalaureate degrees be included to the Lateral Entry Program for Line Service Officers apart from criminologists.

He said they are proposing that other professionals who have license issued by the Professional Regulations Commission or have Professional Civil Service Eligibility may be appointed to the rank of Police Lieutenant to suffice the negative variance of the PNP Rank Profile.

The PNP-DPRM officials said  professionals such as, but not limited to teachers,  social workers and mass communication officers  would be of great help to the growth of the organization.

Gen. Albayalde earlier said they have sought the kind consideration of several measures including the one suggested by the PNP-DPRM since they deem them as necessary to enable the PNP to perform its law enforcement and public safety functions with greater efficiency as well as laws that will strengthen the criminal justice system and enhance crime deterrence.

The PNP has already imposed added safeguards to ensure transparency and integrity of its recruitment and selection process learning its lessons well on an embarrassing incident during the previous Aquino administration, the Journal Group was told.

Officials referred to an incident a few years ago in which then PNP chief, General Nicanor A. Bartolome and  National Capital Region Police Office chief, then Director Alan LM Purisima got wind of a ‘leakage’ of examination papers for PNP Line Officers prompting them to order the cancellation of the scheduled promotion test.

This time, the PNP has imposed added safeguards to ensure the transparency and integrity of their administrative processes, particularly in recruitment and selection to eliminate possible opportunities for irregular practices of undue influence, favoritism, fraud and corruption, said Gen. Albayalde.

The measure will also ensure that those who failed the test will not qualify for promotion despite ‘undue influence’ being extended to the PNP as a result of the so-called ‘bata-bata’ system by officials themselves as well as politicians, other government authorities and influence-peddlers.