MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Philippine National Police needs 80,000 more personnel to meet the ideal police-to-citizen ratio of 1:500 for a country whose population is now 100 million, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said Wednesday.
“1:500 is the rule of thumb …and to arrive at this, we need an additional 80,000. We need this to improve police presence and visibility,” Roxas told the hearing for the Department of Interior and Local Government’s proposed 2015 budget at the House of Representatives.
The PNP’s current strength of 153,000 personnel makes for a police-to-citizen ratio of 1:700. It could actually be worse since 30,000 personnel are engaged in administrative work, Roxas pointed out.
“We really need more people,” he said, adding that there are 900 local government units without police stations and 300 municipalities without fire stations or fire trucks.
Next year, the DILG will get a budget to hire 10,000 more police personnel, the same number it was supposed to hire this year.
Director General Alan Purisima and National Police Commission executive director Eduardo Escueta, for their part, said the PNP is having difficulty recruiting new personnel because of the stringent process.
Applicants to the police force need to be college graduates, and must pass neuropsychiatric and medical examinations as well as an interview.
“We are also faced with the usual problem of attrition and other reasons like (the) attractiveness of other options (offered by) employment (in) the private sector,” Escueta said.
Purisima said they are also looking at the possibility of changing the recruitment period from July to January each year to attract more applicants.
Roxas said new police personnel should be deployed to the streets to help fight crime and maintain peace and order.
Asked what the PNP was doing to address the growing incidence of crimes committed by motorcycle riders in tandem, Roxas said the police have intensified Operation Lambat to accost all motorcycles without license plates and registration papers.
The PNP has also tripled the number of roving and checkpoint teams in Metro Manila from 38 to 104, he added.(MNS)