IF plans materialize, there would soon be new rank classification as well as a retirement and pension system for uniformed members of the Philippine National Police. As soon as it is approved, officers and men of the 190,000-strong police force would again be called Generals, Colonels, Majors and Captains as well as Sergeants and Patrolman, the Journal Group learned.
Last week, the Senate had approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to modify the classification of ranks in the PNP headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde.
Senate Bill No. 2031 which was principally authored by former PNP chief-turned Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson was approved with 18 affirmative votes. The bill would standardize how police officers are being called, according to Sen. Lacson who himself retired from the force with the rank of Police Director General.
“In order to maintain its clear distinction from the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the ranks to be used in addressing the PNP personnel shall be preceded by the word ‘Police’,” explained the senator who was PNP chief from 1999 to 2001.
The bill will amend the Section 28 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, or Republic Act No. 6975, he said.
Under the bill, the classification of ranks in the PNP will be changed to the following:
Director-General to Police General; Deputy Director-General to Police Lieutenant General; Director to Police Major General; Chief Superintendent to Police Brigadier General; Senior Superintendent to Police Colonel; Superintendent to Police Lieutenant Colonel; Chief Inspector to Police Major;
Senior Inspector to Police Captain; Inspector to Police Lieutenant; Senior Police Officer 4 to Police Executive Master Sergeant; Senior Police Officer 3 to Police Chief Master Sergeant; Senior Police Officer 2 to Police Senior Master Sergeant; Senior Police Officer 1 to Police Master Sergeant; Police Officer 3 to Police Staff Sergeant; Police Officer 2 to Police Corporal; and Police Officer 1 to Patrolman or Patrolwoman.
At present, the PNP has one Director General in the person of Albayalde and three Deputy Director Generals or the members of his Command Group: Deputy Director General Fernando H. Mendez Jr. who is the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration; Deputy Director General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa who is the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations; and incoming Deputy Director General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, the PNP Chief Directorial Staff.
The PNP also has 21 Police Directors and some 110 Chief Superintendents.
According to Lacson, an improved rank classification system in the PNP will help the police coordinate better with other law enforcement agencies in operations against crimes and terrorism.
“Experiences both of our policemen and soldiers tell us that unnecessary lags occur when one still finds it necessary to check who his or her counterpart from the police or military is,” he said.
However, the veteran lawmaker explained that the bill would not militarize or take away the civilian character of the PNP.
Another major issue confronting the PNP is the proposed bill on the “Unified Military and Uniformed Services Personnel Separation, Retirement and Pension Act.”
According to the Department of Finance, the proposed bill is urgently needed because of the difficulty being encountered by the national government in supporting the pension requirements of all military and uniformed personnel (MUP).
Thus, the proposed bill was presented last week to concerned Cabinet secretaries and President Duterte who approved it as ‘urgent’ in principle.
The proposed bill’s salient features are the following:
1. Retirement and pensionable age is 60 years old. This means that those who will optionally retire will only receive pension when they reach the age of 60. Only battle casualties will get direct pension even before 60 years old
2. There will be no one rank higher for pension purposes when one retires compulsorily.
3. Maximum pension will be increased from 85 percent of base plus long pay to 90 percent of base pay plus long pay.
4. There will be no indexation of pension. However the pension will be subjected to annual review and periodic increase not exceeding 1.5 percent of the current pension rates.
5. Monetization of leaves will be limited to 300 days for those who have not yet accumulated 300 days. Those with more than 300 days leave will be allowed to monetize all their leaves.
6. There will be pension contributions to be deducted from the individual MUP with government counterpart. The deductions as well as the seed money will be handled by the Government Service Insurance System but will be treated separately from the current funds of GSIS.