House approves bill restructuring PNP on third reading
MANILA, Philippines — A bill that would restructure the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been approved by the House of Representatives on the third and final reading, with the chamber’s leader saying it will enhance the force’s readiness and flexibility to tackle hurdles in “modern-day challenges.”
During the plenary session on Wednesday, House Bill (HB) No. 8327 was approved after 187 lawmakers voted in favor of the said proposal, with zero voting in the negative and none abstaining.
HB No. 8327 seeks to amend various sections of Republic Act No. 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 and R.A. No. 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, in a bid to institutionalize offices created under the PNP chief’s command.
Under the bill, the PNP chief shall have a Command Group composed of the offices of the Deputy Chief of the PNP for Administration, the Deputy Chief of the PNP for Operations, and the Chief of the Directorial Staff.
“The National Office shall [house the] have a directorial staff, [service staff] national administrative and operational support units, and special [support units] police offices. In clustered police regional offices, the PNP shall have area police commands,” the amended Section 25, states if HB No. 8327 is enacted.
At the regional level, the PNP would have the Police Regional Office, including the National Capital Region Police Office, which a regional director would head.
For the metropolitan level, component cities would have a city police office with a city director. Meanwhile, at the municipal level, there would be a police station headed by a chief of police.
It also sets a term limit for the PNP chief and guidelines for selecting officials.
“The Chief of the PNP shall be appointed by the President from among the senior officers down to the rank of Police Brigadier General [subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments],” the bill read.
“The Chief of the PNP shall serve a term of office not to exceed four (4) years and shall be compulsorily retired at the maximum tenure in position herein prescribed, or at age 56, whichever is earlier,” the bill added.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez believes the bill would make the PNP more responsive to modern-day challenges.
“Through these various changes, we aspire to make the PNP more responsive in dealing with its present-day challenges, including internal issues. This will ultimately redound to the benefit of Filipinos, whom the PNP seeks to protect,” Romualdez, who was a principal author of the bill, said.
Some authors are House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, Reps. Sancho Fernando Oaminal, Jorge Bustos, Samier Tan, Shernee Tan-Tambut, Dan Fernandez, Romeo Acop, and Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.