Cebu City mayor to cops: Shape up vs crime – or lose stipend
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Policemen here were given until June 12, or Independence Day, to get their act together or lose their monthly stipend from the local government.
Mayor Michael Rama on Thursday ordered policemen to work harder to reduce criminality, help rescue street dwellers, and curb vandalism.
“Peace and order has always been a priority for me. I already gave policemen in the city the directive (to address the problems on peace and order as well as cleanliness) by June 12 or they would no longer receive their monthly incentives from the city government,” he said.
“I am very clear. That is my position. I do not want a changing of the guard (for now),” he added, alluding to Col. Ireneo Dalogdog, the city police director.
The Cebu City government has been giving a monthly allowance of P5,000 each to police officers assigned to the city, currently numbering around 900. The stipend is on top of the city’s logistical support in the form of patrol vehicles, fuel and firearms.
Sought for comment, Dalogdog said the city police force had always been grateful for such support. “First of all, we thank the city for giving city policemen incentives. Actually, the city has the prerogative to withhold our monthly allowance,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Central Visayas data
Dalogdog said he was taking Rama’s directive as a challenge, adding: “With or without an allowance from the city government, we will do whatever is expected of us.”
He said he had ordered more police visibility, especially in crime-prone areas in the city.
According to data released in April by the Central Visayas regional command of the Philippine National Police, all the cities and provinces in its jurisdiction have shown a downward trend in crime volume, except for Cebu City which has recorded 206 index crimes so far this year, compared to 162 incidents in 2022.
Index crimes include murder, homicide, rape, robbery, theft (including vehicle theft) and physical injury.
Among the recent incidents making local headlines was the robbery of a man who had just disembarked from a ship from Hilongos, Leyte, on April 24. The robber held the victim at knifepoint and took his valuables on T. Padilla Extension.
On May 16, a woman was also robbed at the corner of Escario and Clavano Streets.
Police officials have attributed the spike in street crimes to the influx of people during Cebu’s cultural and religious festivities, like the Sinulog.