World-famous gun makers cite PNP’s tough weapons standard

November 18, 2019

TOUGH standard used by Philippine National Police (PNP) in its weapons purchases have made world-famous gun manufacturers boast that other countries’ police forces should adopt those rigorous purchases standards too, Journal Group learned yesterday.

“Our standard 20,000 endurance test is now a byword in the international community since other countries only require 6,000 to 10,000 ammo tests. I’m happy to say that these foreign weapons manufacturers are now considering adoption of our weapons’ standard,” said PNP Director for Logistics, Major General Edwin C. Roque.

The strict PNP weapons’ standard has attracted the attention of suppliers from Turkey, Brazil, Israel, China and the United States.

The PNP has one of the toughest firearm quality tests, the Journal Group learned. As part of the bidding requirement, firearms’ suppliers are required to submit a random sample of their product to tests which include dropping a loaded firearm two meters above the ground, the so-called ‘salt test,’ the ‘mud test’ and the ‘water immersion test.

The ‘drop,’ ‘salt,’ water’ and ‘mud’ tests are all part of the series of tests aimed at testing the quality of the assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols being offered for sale. Proponents need to demonstrate that the firearms still can fire despite being subjected to those adverse conditions.

The 20,000 endurance test is undertaken for the gun to fire 20,000 live ammunition non-stop before being subjected to a metallurgy test to determine if cracks on the guns’ main parts developed as a result of the adverse condition.

Roque said that the weapons being subjected to adverse and endurance tests are picked from the main bulk of the products to be sold. To illustrate, he said that if there are 4,000 guns to be procured, 200 of them are being randomly picked with two subjected to the quality tests.

“We believe that the new weapons we have procured will outlive their end-users that they will still be working efficiently even though their first users have long retired. If there would be any problem, it would be just some broken gun sights or springs,” Roque said.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday led the unveiling at Camp Crame of more than P3 billion worth of brand-new equipment including two training helicopters, patrol vehicles and trucks and pistols, automatic rifles and machineguns needed by the force in its anti-criminality and anti-terror and insurgency campaign.

The pieces of equipment were procured by the PNP under its Capability Enhancement Program for Calendar Years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 with a total contract price of P33,030,928,724.01, said PNP Director for Comptrollership and the head of the National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee, Major General Jose Ma. Victor DF Ramos.

The newly-procured equipment include two R44 Training Helicopters which will be used by the PNP Special Action Force-Air Unit; 21 units of EOD/K9 patrol vehicles; 34 units of brand-new utility trucks; 2,001 units of Taurus 9mm Striker-Fired pistols; 6,353 units of Tisas 9MM Striker-Fired pistols;  10,000 units of Canik 9mm Striker-Fired pistols; 12,992 units of Galil 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles; 1,677 units of K2C1 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles; 205 units of K3 5.56mm Light Machine guns; eight units of Negev5 5.56mm light machine guns; 141 units of Negev7 7.62mm light machine guns; 51 units of Rotary Blade/Propelled Wing UAV; and 7,924 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III.

The light machine guns, basic assault rifles and combat helmets will be used by the different PNP regional and mobile police forces, ‘high-risks’ police stations and the PNP Maritime Group.

On the other hand, the 21 EOD/K-9 patrol vehicles will be used by the PNP Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Division/K-9 Group. The brand-new trucks and utility vehicles will be assigned to the different police regional offices.

The 18,354 pistols will be for the use of new PNP recruits and other police personnel nationwide,  said Roque.

Gen. Gamboa said they really have not gone to one-brand only and have maintained the transparency of the bidding process without sacrificing quality.

He said that in the case of the 12,992 units of Galil 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles, the proponent initially offered a price of P68,000 per unit, then to P58,000, to P49,000 and finally to P41,000 only.

Gen. Gamboa said that they learned that when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency bought 600 units of the same weapon, it cost over P150,000 each.

The PNP-OIC said that the new choppers will be used to patrol the skies. He added that the new firearms and much better body protection will be vital in the PNP’s campaign against drugs, crime, insurgency and terrorism.

According to Ramos, the NHQ-BAC which used to be chaired by Lt. Gen. Gamboa, the Philippine International Corporation and the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management successfully procured the brand-new police equipment following a series of quality tests.

They are the latest addition to the growing ‘shoot, move, communicate and investigate’ capabilities of the 195,000-strong police force under the Duterte administration.

Last May, the PNP also acquired P1.8 billion worth of police equipment to enhance its basic operational requirements especially city and municipal police stations, public safety battalions and company and national support units.

The 23,800 pieces of newly-procured police equipment were blessed at the National Capital Region Police Office’s grandstand in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

That month, Gen. Gamboa said that the P1.871 billion worth of police equipment was bankrolled by a supplemental fund from the PNP Capability Enhancement Program of 2014 to 2018.

Gamboa said that the procurement is part of the continuing effort of the PNP leadership and the national government to enhance the firepower, mobility, communication and investigative capabilities of the different PNP operating units.