DBM warning ignored: PNP now has 35 excess posts for ranks flagged in 2018
MANILA, Philippines—Did the Philippine National Police (PNP) disregard a warning made by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2018?
Based on data from the DBM and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the PNP has over 66,203 excess positions, which is worth P26.07 billion a year.
Some of these excess posts were seen in the ranks of lieutenant generals, major generals, and brigadier generals, which, as stated in a DBM document, should not exceed three, 11, and 86, respectively.
But as of June 2023, there are eight lieutenant generals, 17 major generals, and 110 brigadier generals, translating to an excess of five, six, and 24 for each of the ranks.
Looking back, the PNP had proposed the upgrading of 22 positions in the PNP, and as Benjamin Diokno, who was then the head of the DBM, pointed out, “as stated in said Presidential Directive issued by the PMS (Presidential Management Staff), the President approved the PNP’s proposal and directed the DILG, in coordination with the DBM, to implement said upgrading, subject to compliance with relevant laws, rules and regulations.”
As context, lieutenant generals, directors and chief superintendents were referred to as deputy director generals, major generals and brigadier generals, before the signing of Republic Act No. 11200, which modified the rank classification of the PNP.
But as early as 2018, Diokno already warned that upgrading the ranks of police officials “will alter the organizational setup of the PNP.”
Diokno said “we find no provision in RA (Republic Act) Nos. 6975 and 8551 that authorizes the President to increase the number of Deputy Director Generals nor to upgrade the ranks of the positions heading the different units of the PNP.”
RA No. 6975 is the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, while RA No. 8551 is the PNP Reform and Organization Act of 1998.
Diokno pointed out in a letter addressed to Undersecretary Ferdinand Cui Jr. as acting head of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) that “RA No. 6975 provides for three (3) Deputy Director General ranks only. The subject PNP proposal will increase the same to seven (7).”
He said the upgrading will “distort the hierarchical relationship within the PNP leadership inasmuch as the heads of certain Operational Support Units will be of equal rank to the Deputy Chiefs of the PNP.”
Diokno stressed that the provisions of RA Nos. 6975 and 8551 mandate the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to exercise administrative control and operational supervision over the PNP, advise the President on all matters involving police functions and administration, and propose a reorganization plan of the PNP.
“It is our position that any change in the PNP organizational structure should be based on a study and recommendation of NAPOLCOM,” Diokno had said. “We do not find such recommendation among the documents forwarded by PMS.”