THE Philippine National Police leadership yesterday expressed its full support to a proposed bill that seeks to revive the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps or ROTC program as part of the regular academic curriculum in college.
“We are convinced that the ROTC program is designed to build a solid foundation to instill patriotism and nationalism among the youth to become useful citizens who possess the skills, knowledge and the heart to uphold and defend the country’s national institutions and sovereignty,” said PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.
According to the PNP chief, they are already making representations in the drafting of the proposed law and its implementing rules and regulations that will ideally include subjects on law enforcement, disaster response, rule of law and civil rights in addition to basic military science subjects of the course curriculum.
“A small country like ours deserves to have a strong reserve force that can be called upon to augment the existing complement of regular forces. God forbid that we will need to mobilize our reserve force like what we did in World War II, but when the situation presents itself, the reservists shall prove themselves ready and up to task,” he said.
Albayalde likewise welcomed legislative measures that seek to expand the role of women in law enforcement, with a significant 20 percent hike in the number of female personnel in the police service.
“As far as the recruitment and selection process is concerned, I am pleased to announce that the PNP is 100 percent compliant with the requirements of law in terms of gender equality and empowerment of women,” he said.
The country’s top cop said the PNP has done away with the traditional troop ceiling for women and other gender restrictions in recruitment and selection thus opening equal opportunities in filling-up of vacant positions.
“Although the PNP remains a male-dominated organization, women are continuously taking a permanent foothold in the policing landscape. The Women Police Service, traditionally delegated to auxiliary functions, has been deactivated and its women members had been integrated into the regular force alongside their male counterparts,” the PNP chief said.
At present, the PNP strength of 180,767 is composed of 83.4 percent male and 16.6 percent female personnel. Women officers comprise 14 percent of the PNP Officer Corps.
Albayalde emphasized that consistent with the national policy on Gender and Development, the PNP remains responsive to perennial gender issues and concerns.