DILG proposes P90.5-B budget for 2013By Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government has proposed a budget of P90.55 billion for 2013, which is lower by three percent from its current funding of P92.8 billion, according to its officer-in-charge Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
Ochoa told the House committee on appropriations deliberating on the DILG budget Tuesday morning that the reduction to the budget proposal was due to transfer of their pension fund.
The DILG seeks to beef up the personnel in the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection to improve the ratio of their officers to the population they serve. Ochoa said that the BFP is eyeing to recruit 500 new officers and purchase new equipment while the BJMP seeks to increase the number of their jail officers by 500 more.
The PNP is also planning to enhance visibility and crime prevention by adding 3,000 new police officers to their ranks. Undersecretary for Peace and Order Rico Puno told lawmakers that they are in the process of procuring new firearms for the PNP, pointing out that they have selected a Gloc pistol which has endured tests by the authorities under their selection process.
Occidental Mindoro Rep. Ma. Amelita Villarosa, a member of the minority bloc, urged the PNP to ensure that they acquire efficient firearms and not make purchases based on price alone. “Hindi lahat ng mura yun ang okay. Mura nga hindi naman puputok (Not all cheap items are okay. They may be cheap but they might not fire).”
Puno maintained that the Gloc pistol being purchased by the PNP underwent stringent tests before they decided to make the purchase.
Ochoa assured the panel that a “substantial volume of pistols and long firearms” was being eyed by the PNP for next year.
“Every policeman must have one short firearm,” PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome stressed.