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PNP pushes National Police Clearance System

THE Philippine National Police headed by General Oscar D. Albayalde is pushing for the institutionalization of the National Police Clearance System which is seen as a major tool in any crime investigation across the country, the Journal Group was told yesterday.

The ‘Act institutionalizing the National Police Clearance System, amending for the purpose Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6975 as amended, otherwise known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990’ is one of the Legislative Agenda or LEGENDA forwarded to the 18th Congress by the PNP Directorate for Plans headed by Major General Jonas B. Calleja.

At present, applicants seeking License-to-Own-and-Possess-Firearms and security guards’ licenses are being required to get a National Police Clearance at the PNP One-Stop-Shop Building in Camp Crame. The issuance of the NPC is being supervised by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management headed by Major Gen. Elmo Francis O. Sarona.

The proposed measure was discussed during the 17th Congress and is known as the National Police Clearance System or NPCS Act of 2019.

The measure cited the policy of the State to ensure public safety thru a highly efficient, effective, competent and modernized police force and the use of information and communications technology.

It is also the policy of the State to improve efficiency in the delivery of government service to the public including the issuance of police clearance by reducing bureaucratic red tape and preventing graft and corruption,” the measure said.

As proposed in the measure, Section  3. A new Section 24 (i) shall be inserted after Section 24 (h) of Republic Act No. 6975 which shall read as follows:

“Sec. 24 (i) Formulate and implement policies on the institutionalization of the National Police Clearance System which includes, among others the issuance of the national police clearance and maintenance of a national record of all reported crime incidents, warrants of arrest, pictures of arrested and wanted persons, fingerprints and ballistics examination records.’

Gen. Albayalde had said that with the impending implementation next month of the National ID system, the PNP’s own National Crime Information System and National Police Clearance System will be consolidated with the national database.

The PNP chief said there’s really no reason for the public to be apprehensive of the Philippine Identification System (PhlSys) or the National ID system which is set for pilot-testing next month.

Saying it would not just ease transactions but also help in deterring crimes, the country’s top cop said law-abiding citizens should not be apprehensive of the ID system  since only terrorists and criminals are not buying the idea.

“The PNP strongly supports the implementation of the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act or PhilSys which has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 2018 and it will be piloted this September as the national ID system. Aside from the assurance of wide-range delivery of government services and privileges, this new ID system will boost our operational thrust against terrorism coping with global trends,” said Gen. Albayalde.

He said if all Filipinos will register to the government’s central identification system, access to records of the identity of a person who committed a crime will be easier for State security forces, thus, resulting to an easier solution or even prevention of crime.

“Malaking bagay ‘yan lalung-lalo na sa pag-improve ng peace and order sa bansa,” he said. Officials said that in particular, solving cybercrimes especially fraud, identity theft, and online scams, will be easier for the police and other law enforcement agencies since they can easily access necessary information of a crime suspect.

Aside from improving peace and order, the PNP said an efficient national ID system assures access by 106.6-million Filipinos to a wide-range of government services and privileges including in census, taxation, election registration, banking, travel documentation, social security, social welfare, and other transactions with government agencies.

According to the bill, Philsys would harmonize, integrate, and interconnect the country’s many government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.

It will have three key components: the PhilSys Number or PSN; the PhilID; and the PhilSys Registry.