MORE world-class ‘move, shoot, communicate and investigate’ equipment for the Philippine National Police (PNP) are coming this year, PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas said.
They include top-of-the-line protective equipment for members of the force engaged in tactical operations specifically members of the PNP Special Action Force, Drug Enforcement Group, Anti-Kidnapping Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and beat patrollers who always face the prospect of being confronted by heavily-armed and merciless criminals every day.
The 25th PNP chief said they would procure additional high-quality body armors and combat helmets needed not only to protect police officers and men tasked to go after criminal and terror rings in the country but also those who are manning checkpoints to arrest the presence of deadly loose weapons and explosives in the highways and streets.
“We’re further improving our move, shoot, communicate and investigate capabilities, most importantly our critical needs,” he said.
PNP Director for Logistics, Major Gen. Angelito A. Casimiro said that for their Capability Enhancement Program 2019, a total of 27 items were procured, 25 items of which were delivered and two items still for delivery.
The official said that for balances of CEP 2019, another eight items were procured with a total Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) of P906,048,150.
During the same year, two items were delivered, three items for delivery, one for termination of contract and two items were reverted and realigned to COVID fund (1,254 units of Combat Helmet Level III-A and 2,208 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III).
Additional items including 12 units of 4×4 pick-ups, five units of LTV and 10 units of 4×2 patrol jeeps were procured on the same year for use of the Misamis Occidental Police Provincial Office.
Casimiro said that for CEP 2020, they procured 15 items of which seven were delivered, four items for delivery, one item for CS.NTP JV of PRomech Corp and Safe Hull Marine Tech (10 units of high-speed tactical watercraft) and one item for Termination of Contract for the procurement of 5,529 units of 9mm Striker Fired Pistols.
Last year also saw the PNP paving the way for a successful Government to Government (G2G) weapons’ procurement contract between The Philippines and Israel which saved the PNP a total of P108 million which will be used to buy additional essential police equipment, Sinas said.
The contract between the government and the State of Israel represented by retired Brigadier Gen. Yair Kulas, director of the IMOD-SIBAT of the Israel Ministry of Defense, means the PNP will be equipped with high-quality Israeli-made firearms and other defense equipment.
The top cop said that thru the G2G contract which enabled the PNP to acquire low-priced but high-quality armaments and other defense equipment, the Israeli government will deliver to the PNP 13,457 units of caliber 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifle with Emtan Karmiel; 20 units of 7.62mm Light Machine Gun with IWI; and the Intelligence Component of the PNP Secure, Mobile, Artificial –Intelligence Driven, Real-time or SMART Policing Program.
He said that the G2G mode of acquisition is pursuant to Section 4.2 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184 which the PNP took advantage of as PNP officials were able to save for the Philippine government up to P107,769,090 in taxpayers’ money.
Under the contract, the PNP closed the procurement deal for 5.56 mm basic assault rifles of the same superior quality of rifles from previous procurements for only P35,280 per unit, far lower than the price obtained through Public Bidding last 2017 to 2019 with a price ranging from P42,000 up to P87,000 per unit.
The huge amount saved for the government is the PNP’s share for best practices under RA 9184 on the procurement of specified qualities of firepower equipment acquired under the mission-essential tools, assets and resources, said Sinas.
Among those being targeted for procurement by the PNP Directorate for Logistics are Enhanced Level III Combat Helmets, Level III Tactical Vests with Level IV Two Upgraded Plates, Waistcoat Vests and Level III-A Undershirt Vests.
Bullet-proof vests, Sinas explained, are particularly needed by policemen manning checkpoints in the country since these officers are regularly exposed to the threats posed by heavily-armed lawless elements.
He cited the case of a PNP Highway Patrol Group operative, Master Sergeant Julius Arcalas who was shot and killed by an M-16 wielding dismissed Philippine Military Academy cadet in Cavite City.
Top PNP officials said that everybody must understand that each time police flag down occupants of a car or an SUV for a routine check, they don’t know if the persons they are about to check are armed or not.
In case the persons are armed with automatic rifles or pistols and start panic firing, only their body armours will help protect them from bullets in case they are not immediately able to run to their mobile cars to seek cover. This is what happened in Cavite City exactly.
There were instances in the past wherein policemen who accosted car-riding persons were met with automatic gunfire and were killed or maimed in the process.
PNP officials involved in the procurement program assured that these equipment have passed strict quality tests. The vests and helmets passed world-class tests and that during actual testing, they were checked for bullet penetrations or perforations as part of the PNP requirement.
The importance of having quality bullet-proof vest once again was showcased in the case of two PNP Special Action Force commandos who were both saved by their bullet-proof vests following gunbattles with heavily-armed criminals and terrorists in Polomolok, South Cotabato and in Labo, Camarines Sur late last year which left seven suspects dead, said PNP-SAF director, Maj. Gen. Bernabe M. Balba.