Napolcom orders PNP to form FOI desk in police offices
Police documents may soon be more accessible to the public as the National Police Commission (Napolcom) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to create freedom of information (FOI) desks in all police territorial units nationwide.
Napolcom Vice Chairman and Executive Officer Atty. Rogelio Casurao signed on April 17, 2018, Resolution No. 2018-182, approving the creation of an FOI section under the Public Information Division (PID) of the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR).
Casurao said the PID would be the primary repository of requests for access to information.
“The creation of the FOI Section is geared toward further enhancing the PNP’s capability and efficiency in performing its mandated functions in line with the government’s Freedom of Information Program as provided for under Executive Order No. 02,” Casurao said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“It also serves as the primary medium for promoting transparency and open exchange of information from the PNP organization to the public,” he added.
The move came amid the Supreme Court’s order for the PNP to submit all reports on the killing of thousands of suspects killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.
The High Court, in a resolution, found the Solicitor General’s “generic and unsubstantiated refusal” to submit information “unacceptable,” noting that documents should have had been produced in the first place as part of the police’s standard operating procedures.
The Napolcom resolution also approves the creation of the Regional FOI Sections under the Regional Police-Community Relations Divisions of the Police Regional Offices, as well as FOI desks under the PNP territorial units.
Casurao said the desks would be responsible for handling, receiving, evaluating, processing, dispatching and monitoring actions and responses to all requests for access to PNP-related information within their respective areas of responsibility.
He added that FOI Section of the PID and all FOI sections or desks nationwide would be initially manned by 2,157 uniformed personnel composed of 124 Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 2,033 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs).
Casurao said the Napolcom has forwarded the resolution to the Department of Budget and Management to serve as basis for the provision of additional budget for the recruitment of 2,033 non-uniformed personnel who would replace the PNCO personnel. /jpv