PNP response time: 15 minutes
MANILA, Philippines - If pizza parlors and fast food joints can guarantee the delivery of orders in 30 minutes or less, then the Philippine National Police (PNP) can also make such a promise in responding to crime incidents.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the PNP has vowed to respond to crime incidents within 15 minutes from the time they receive the call or report.
The guarantee from the PNP was contained in its budget proposal for 2014, which also includes a promise to increase the number of foot and car patrols by 25 percent.
Recto welcomed the PNP’s commitment, saying that “it can be a deterrent against crime because nothing dissuades a criminal more than the certainty of arrest.”
“But for criminals to be stopped from being gone in sixty seconds, our police must be given all the resources so they‘ll be in the scene of the crime, not in sixty minutes, but in seconds,” he added.
The inclusion of performance guarantees by the different government agencies is an innovation in the proposed P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014.
The PNP has proposed a budget of P72.1 billion, which includes P100 million for new structures, P1.8 billion for the purchase of vehicles and P925 million for other equipment.
Under the PNP’s proposed budget, there is also a pledge to promptly investigate a projected 629,258 incidents next year and a five-percent jump in the apprehension rate of most wanted criminals.
Recto noted that the PNP also vowed to arrest five percent of the most wanted within 30 days of receipt of the court-issued warrants of arrest.
According to the PNP, reported index crime in 2012 was 129,161 cases while those in the non-index crime category was 88,651 cases, for a total crime volume of 217,812.
On a daily basis, 22 murders and 74 robberies were committed last year.
“But the above are just the reported crime incidents, the blottered incidents, which could just be the tip of the iceberg as a majority of crimes remain unreported to the police in this country,” Recto noted.
Meanwhile, the P5 billion for the modernization program in the Armed Forces’ proposed budget for 2014 is but a fraction of what it needs to effectively achieve its mandate of securing the nation, according to Sen. Loren Legarda.
In a statement, Legarda said the AFP could only be expected to deliver so much based on what it is receiving in terms of funding for its modernization.
“In effect, the P5 billion being requested under the 2014 budget of the AFP is funding that was supposed to have been due more than a decade ago under the 1995 AFP modernization law,” she said.
“We cannot adhere to a tingi (piecemeal) mentality if we are serious about achieving a stronger and more dependable armed forces.”
Legarda said the P5 billion is a far cry from what the military should have received more than a decade ago when the first AFP Modernization Law was enacted.
“We must ensure that the P10-billion unprogrammed fund, on top of the P5-billion budget, is released to the AFP beginning 2014 and the years following, if we want an armed forces that can fulfill its mandate of protecting the Filipino people not only from external and internal threats, but also from the destructive consequences of disasters,” she said.
The first AFP Modernization Law was enacted in 1995 and involved the allocation of an initial P50 billion for the acquisition of new equipment in the first five years of its implementation.
Under the revised AFP Modernization Law enacted in 2012, the Armed Forces should have been allocated P15 billion every year to cover the procurement of major weapon and non-weapon equipment and technology as well as for the construction of infrastructure projects, Legarda said.