Grace Poe bats for PNP hotline like ‘911’
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police could not call itself modern without setting up an emergency hotline like the United States’ 911, Sen. Grace Poe has said.
Poe said that in modern societies, a person witnessing a crime could dial 911 and the police would arrive promptly to deal with the criminal.
In the Philippines, policemen would often arrive after the crime has been committed, said the senator, who filed two resolutions seeking the establishment of such a hotline.
“How can our police claim to be modern if they don’t even have this most basic component of effective law enforcement?” she told the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Thursday in Tagaytay City.
Poe, chair of the committee on public order, said she was now awaiting a feasibility study on the matter from the PNP.
“Once the people in charge have submitted their feasibility study and budget proposal, I will work to have it approved in next year’s budget. Hopefully, we will have a 911 hotline by the year 2016,” she said.
Poe also renewed her call for the setting up of a “media hotline” for journalists facing threats.
In the same speech, Poe spoke of her recent study tour of Singapore as a Lee Kuan Yew fellow, saying she gained a lot of insights from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, other ranking ministers and members of the academe.
Lee Kuan Yew fellow
Poe was chosen as the 3rd Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow (LKYEF) from the Philippines and 46th from the world since the program started.
The fellows are chosen by the LKYEF program based on their track record and extraordinary potential to contribute to the development of their nations. The program chooses two individuals from all over the world every year.
“In my conversations with them, I acquired a lot of insight on how important leadership is towards the attainment of good governance,” Poe said.
“From them, I also gained some practical knowledge on how a state can create an ‘enabling environment’ that is conducive to inclusive growth and good government,” she added.
Like Singapore in 60s
Poe said that Singapore in the 1960s resembled what the Philippines looks at present: widespread poverty, high unemployment, low educational attainment and rampant malnutrition among its population.
Corruption was systemic and criminality was endemic—perpetuated mainly by the Chinese Triads in Singapore, and the communists were trying to wage an insurgency to overthrow their government, she said.
This was the general state of affairs when Lee Kuan Yew was elected as the state’s first Prime Minister. But within 20 years, the state pole-vaulted into one of the most developed countries in Asia, the senator said.
“One of the things I learned from my study tour is the vital importance of leadership in effecting positive change. We all know that one of the reasons why Singapore progressed was because Lee Kuan Yew and the rest of the Singaporean leaders were not corrupt,” she said.
Right economic policies
The other reason was that its leaders adopted the right economic policies and very effective social reform programs for their people, she said.
For instance, while the Philippines pursued an import-substitution industrialization (ISI) policy from ’60s to the ’70s, Singapore during the same period adopted the policy of export-oriented industrialization (EOI), Poe said.
“History teaches us that our import-substitution economic policy has only resulted in cronyism and monopolies which stunted our economic growth,” she said.
“So the lesson to be derived from Singapore is that a leader’s honesty and integrity—while necessary to inspire people—are not enough to bring about ‘good governance,’” she added.
“To bring about good governance, a leader must also have the competence to be able to come up with the right policies and the capability to execute/implement these policies properly. Integrity and capability—these are the two essential elements of leadership that I learned from my study tour in Singapore,” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.