Press Release
October 8, 2006

PNP not getting enough budgetary support
from Malacañang , Drilon laments

It's no wonder the Philippine National Police (PNP) seems handicapped in doing its job of maintaining peace and order and effectively stopping the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country.

Liberal Party President and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Franklin Drilon today said that President Gloria Arroyo was not giving the PNP enough budgetary support, noting that the proposed increase in the 2007 budget of the 20,000 personnel agency would only be enough to cover inflation and bring the appropriation to its former level three years ago.

"The proposed 11.82 percent increase in the 2007 budget of the PNP, which is placed at P39.36 billion, will be enough only to cover inflation," Drilon said after a Senate hearing on the proposed 2007 budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments last Wednesday.

"The 2007 PNP budget, to my surprise, did not contain any increase. The increase is just to cover inflation which is less than six percent a year," Drilon explained. "From 2005 to 2007, the increase is only 11.82 percent and the inflation cost is at least six percent every year. So in effect, there is no increase. And yet, we are increasing the manpower complement of the PNP by 6,000 policemen. This year we have already increased it by 3,000. Next year, they will hire an additional 3,000. In effect there is really no increase in the budgetary support for the PNP."

"I am disappointed at Malacañang for not providing for the increase. If law and order is a pillar of the agenda of this administration, they should provide the support to the police," Drilon pointed out.

Drilon said he would support an increase in the PNP's budget next year provided Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. could certify the availability and sourcing of the additional funds.

During the Senate hearing, DILG Secretary Rolando Puno said the department was seeking a budget of P51.14 billion for next year, 77 percent of the amount would go to the budget of the PNP which was placed at P39.35 billion. In year 2005, the PNP budget was P35.19 billion which was slightly increased to P35.53 this year, Drilon noted.

"I am dismayed that the PNP, our most important law enforcement agency, is not getting enough budgetary support despite gargantuan tasks given them such as addressing the infamous extrajudicial killings of militant political leaders and journalists," Drilon said.

During the same hearing, Puno expressed his full support of Drilon's recommendation to fast-track legislation that would immediately devolve jail and fire protection services from the national to local governments.

Drilon noted that devolution of jail and fire projection services was long overdue and this would give the DILG and the PNP more personnel and resources to concentrate on the all-important task of law enforcement and crime-fighting.

At present, jail and fire protection services throughout the country fall under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), two attached agencies of the DILG.

On the prodding of Drilon, Puno said he would submit a concept paper and a draft bill to both the House of Representatives and the Senate by November on the proposed devolution of jail and fire protection services to local officials.

"We will file a bill by mid-November," Drilon said, noting while provincial jails are presently under the jurisdiction of provincial governments, city and the municipal jails are being managed by the DILG.

Drilon said jail services were really functions that can be performed by local government units. "Why can not the same burden be placed on the city government and municipal government and relieve the national government of maintaining thousands of jail guards," Drilon added.

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