Bato de la Rosa, Risa Hontiveros back bill increasing female recruitment quota in PNP
MANILA, Philippines — Sens. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa and Risa Hontiveros on Monday endorsed for plenary approval a bill seeking to increase from 10 percent to 15 percent the required quota of female officers in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
During the plenary session, Dela Rosa sponsored Senate Bill No. 1562, which was contained in Committee Report No. 94. The report was signed by 19 senators.
“The idea that law enforcement is a task meant for cold-calculating men is not merely obsolete, it is untrue. In countless times and cases, women have shown the country their kind of bravery. The kind that listens and understands. The kind that steps back from judgment and moves forward in empathy,” Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said in his sponsorship speech.
“Through the years, women have held their own in restoring law and order in our communities. This, they have done despite the discrimination and biases against them,” he added.
The measure seeks to amend the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, or Republic Act No, 8551.
The bill also proposes to further increase the recruitment quota of women in the police force after five years.
In sponsoring the committee report, Dela Rosa admitted that there was still a “long way to go in achieving equality.”
“But of course, any step forward is a step worth taking, especially if it means bringing us closer to our common goal,” he added.
Taking up space
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, expressed support for the measure.
“I’m happy to support any legislation that will open doors for women, whatever arena that might be,” she said in her co-sponsorship speech.
“But I am particularly happy to support increasing gender quotas in the Philippine National Police. One of the lessons from the implementation of Violence against Women and Their Children law and Safe Spaces Act is that many women are afraid to report [abuse] because they find it hard when talking to male police officers. Hopefully, this bill will help address that gap,” she added, speaking partly in Filipino.
“Second, it’s been proven everywhere that more women in spaces and spheres of law enforcement creates a counter-culture of human rights, restorative justice and healing… The PNP can always do with a bit more of these in whatever time, now or in the future,” she went on.