WITH the presence of international drug traffickers, kidnappers, pirates and other lawless elements, the Philippine National Police (PNP) must lose no time in beefing up its air and sea assets.
Admittedly, the PNP, the country’s premier law enforcement arm, lacks aircraft and patrol boats to guard the long coastlines, vast territorial waters and thousands of islands and islets.
Apart from the national police agency, only the Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have ships, patrol boats, airplanes and helicopters.
However, these air and sea assets are not enough to guard the country’s irregular seawaters and coastal areas.
Thus, the Filipino people, including the ordinary citizens, are hoping that the two-chamber Congress increases the national budget of the PNP, which is civilian in nature but national in scope.
And we commend the PNP leadership, headed by Director-General Oscar “Odie” D. Albayalde, for allotting roughly P1.135 billion to procure additional aircraft and patrol boats.
“We’re beefing up our air and sea assets to help guard against intrusions by international drug smugglers, kidnappers, pirates, poachers and other criminal elements,” said Albayalde.
Additional air and maritime assets also means more effective police response during disaster or national emergency situations not only in Luzon but also throughout the country.
At present, the PNP fleet of watercraft includes 107 rubber boats, 19 coastal craft, 25 fast boats, four speed boats and 10 gun boats or dauntless boats, according to the top “Mamang Pulis.”
Without doubt, the men and women in police uniform deserve the all-out support of all sectors of Philippine society as they exert their best efforts to improve their air and sea capabilities.