Drones to give PNP sharper eye in the sky
The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants to have a constant “eye in the sky” as part of its anticrime or crowd-control operations.
PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday said around 700 drones or unmanned aerial vehicles mounted with cameras were due for delivery and would soon be distributed among the different PNP units nationwide.
“We will deploy and issue them to different mobile groups and that will be made standard issue whenever they conduct operations,” Albayalde told reporters, adding that the drones may be used in civil disturbance management during street protests, as well as internal security operations.
The PNP has allotted about P56 million for the purchase of the drones, which costs P80,000 each. The procured model should meet PNP’s operational requirements, the official said.
Albayalde maintained that the use of drones would be vital to internal security surveillance operations, particularly in areas where government security forces or VIPs may be vulnerable to ambuscades.
2 more helicopters
“In ambush sites, enemies occupy high ground and they are difficult to scout. You can deploy the drone at least a few meters ahead before you pass through a critical area,” he said. “It is more importantly a deterrent. If there is a drone flying, the enemy or possible ambushers would scatter.”
Apart from drones, the PNP has programmed the acquisition of two more helicopters which are expected to be delivered in 2019.
In April, the first of three brand new P435-million twin-engine Bell 429 helicopters was acquired by the PNP. (Four months later, however, the chopper accidentally damaged the LED display monitor at the Camp Crame grandstand as it hovered dangerously low while making a flyby during the PNP’s 117th anniversary program.)
The PNP has asked for a P172.6-billion budget for 2019, citing the need to upgrade its equipment, increase its personnel, and construct more police stations.
As part of its modernization and capability enhancement program, the PNP also plans to acquire additional armored personnel carriers and assault watercraft.
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