Press Release
April 11, 2018

Recto to incoming PNP chief: Fill 26,000 cop vacancies

"Mission number one" for incoming Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde is to fill the big number of personnel vacancies in the PNP, which is projected to hit 25,938 this year, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"If all of these positions are filled, and distributed equally to the country's 1,489 municipalities, each will have an additional 17 policemen. If 20 percent of the slots will be allotted to cities, each will receive 35 more policemen," Recto said.

The challenge is to put "more boots on the ground," Recto said, noting that the annual population increase of 1.67 million triggers a corresponding need to boost police strength by 3,340 yearly, on a 1:500 cop-to-population ratio.

And if all of these new recruits will be given patrolling duties, it will solve the chronic lack of police officers on the ground, Recto said.

"Sa ngayon kasi, wala ka nang pulis na makikita sa ilalim ng tulay, flyover o underpass. Sadyang kulang talaga," he said.

The PNP has an authorized uniformed troop strength of 194,410, of which only 168,472 are or will be filled this year, based on the DBM-prepared 2018 government "Staffing Pattern."

"But not all of the 168,472 are on duty--some may be sick, absent, on schooling, suspended, or assigned to administrative duties, so the actual policeman-to-population ratio at any given hour of the day is below what is on paper," Recto said.

Recto said "to close the huge gap in unfilled police officer positions, the PNP must go on a recruiting spree, using the recent doubling of the base pay of the entry-level Police Officer 1 to P 29,668 as a come-on."

"General Albayalde seems to be a good poster boy for recruitment. But there are other programs and policies that could boost recruitment. They can expand the applicant base by relaxing height or age requirement. And offer more review classes to improve test passing rate," he said.

"Before you can put more policemen on the streets, you have to put more of them in uniform first," Recto added.

Salaries and allowances eat up 86 percent, or P113 billion of the PNP's 2018 budget of P132.3 billion. A big chunk of the PNP's personnel compensation budget goes to its 76,000 Police Officers.

The PNP, however, has been quoted in the press that it has 187,000 men in uniform, leaving 7,410 vacancies.

"Whatever the range is, the task at hand is to recruit more, so there will be more men to protect and serve the people," Recto said.

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