Malabon police chief wants headquarters ‘modernized’
MANILA, Philippines—The new police chief of Malabon City is seeking immediate help from the city government to “modernize” the city police’s headquarters, saying that it has been “left behind” by time and is hardly fit to be the home of the police.
Senior Superintendent Severino Abad said that the Malabon Police headquarters, which has been looking like an old house compared to the glittering and modern 11-story Malabon City Hall in front of it, was the first thing he noticed when he started work in the city on Friday.
“The headquarters was the first thing I really saw. It’s not what you would say as a standard police building, especially for a city,” Abad told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“You might say that, out of the police stations in the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela), it seems as if this is the only one that’s been left behind,” he added.
The Malabon Police headquarters, located along Rizal Avenue together with the Malabon Fire Department, was built “many decades ago” and sits on land owned by the San Bartolome Parish, according to Bong Padua of the Malabon Public Information Office.
“They just rent the land from the parish, and they cannot modify the structures there because of that, save for a few repairs here and there. The headquarters is really in a sorry state,” he said.
Today, the headquarters is a hodgepodge of one and two-story areas, with some rooms and offices on the side seemingly just joined to the main, two-story structure. Expansion is limited by the Malabon Catholic Cemetery beside it.
The main structure, which houses administrative, intelligence, anti-illegal drugs and investigation offices, among others, has a low ground floor level, meaning it gets easily flooded when it rains. The second floor is made of wood, a potential fire hazard, while the roof constantly leaks when it rains.
These limitations have led to the police headquarters being left behind as the years go by.
“I don’t think and I’m not saying that this building is condemned, but like in a vehicle, this is beyond economic repair. This lot is not ours, so we can’t improve on it,” said Abad, who has been staying at the operations office as his office was being renovated.
“We will make a recommendation to our local chief executive so that maybe they can help us with the papers of the land, and so we can request for a standard police building,”
Abad and Padua explained that the land where the police headquarters has been sitting on must be donated to the police, before the Philippine National Police could grant funds for the construction of a headquarters.
Asked for comment, Padua said that the city government has been assisting the police in every way they could, including in building a new home from them.
“This has been a long-standing concern of the local police. But it’s not to say that nothing has been done. We’ve been trying to find some land for them, which is strategically placed, and where they can easily move in and out. But it’s been challenging,” Padua said
“We have space in the 10th floor of the City Hall, but it would be hard for them to respond quickly to calls from there. Other areas we have found so far have been either too small or not suitable for the task,” he added.
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