A House leader on Sunday said he expects the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, who has yet to be named, to be more receptive than his predecessor to the idea of enlisting a greater number of female officers.
“To achieve the ideal ratio of 1:500 -- one officer for every 500 population -- the PNP will be creating 10,000 new Police Officer 1 positions next year. It will also be filling up another 26,685 previously authorized positions that remain vacant,” Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel.
“We are counting on Gen. Oscar Albayalde’s successor to find ways to reserve for women up to 20 percent of all these new and unfilled positions,” Pimentel said.
“This is no longer just about improving the PNP’s gender-sensitivity. This is about giving women the same opportunities as men to serve -- to obtain gainful employment and to advance,” Pimentel said.
Entry-level officers with the rank of PO1 now receive a monthly base pay of P29,668 -- a 100 percent increase from the P14,834 that they were getting two years ago, Pimentel pointed out.
Pimentel said the PNP budget for 2020 includes a special instruction that “in the hiring of PO1 recruits, priority shall be given to qualified female applicants to fill vacancies in women’s and children’s desks” in all police stations.
The desks receive and deal with cases involving sexual offenses and domestic violence against women, abuses against children and other similar crimes.
The PNP currently has 214,410 authorized positions for uniformed personnel, of which only 187,725 have been filled, leaving 26,685 positions vacant.
“The PNP is getting a budget of P3 billion in 2020 for the initial creation of the 10,000 new PO1 positions, and another P14.4 billion to fill up the 26,685 vacancies,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel is author of House Bill (HB) No. 4747, which seeks to increase the number of women in the PNP to 15 percent of all new recruits over the next five years, and then to 20 percent over the five years thereafter.
The PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 allots to women only 10 percent of the annual slots for new recruits.
Pimentel wants to expand the role women’s and children’s desks in police stations.
“To discourage potential abuses by male officers, we want the desks to have sole and direct custody of women and minors who are brought to police stations for questioning,” Pimentel said.
“We also want the desks to supervise women and children who visit their loved ones in police detention,” Pimentel added.
Albayalde was not amenable to the idea of recruiting more women, insisting that the current 10 percent allocation for female officers was enough.
The PNP could not make full use of women because they have to go on maternity leave once they marry and become pregnant, Albayalde had insisted.