From the Senate PRIB: Senate Bill 1898, which Lacson sponsored on the Senate floor last Aug. 14, was approved on final reading with 19 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention.
Internal Cleansing: Lacson-sponsored bill transferring police recruits’ training to PNP approved on third reading
A bill sponsored by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson that seeks to push the police force’s internal cleansing by transferring the training of police recruits to the Philippine National Police got the nod of the Senate on third reading Tuesday.
Senate Bill 1898, which Lacson sponsored on the Senate floor last Aug. 14, was approved on final reading with 19 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention.
Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001 and who now chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said the PNP could better fulfill its duty to serve and protect if it has authority – and accountability – for the training and education of its personnel.
Under the bill, the responsibility of training police recruits will transfer to the PNP from the Philippine Public Safety College, which includes the PNP Academy and National Police Training Institute.
At present, the PPSC is responsible for the training, human resource development and continuing education of personnel of the PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Once Senate Bill 1898 becomes law, the PNP Academy – which trains commissioned officers – will be under the direct supervision and control of the Chief, PNP while supervision and control of the NPTI – which trains noncommissioned officers – will be determined in the revised organizational structure of the said unit.
In sponsoring Senate Bill 1898, Lacson – who instilled discipline in the PNP when he headed it – noted lapses in the recruitment and education of police officers over the years.
He underscored the importance of the formative stage which he said “built characters and instilled values of discipline and public service among recruits.”
“The simple truth is that there is an evident mismatch between the PNP’s training expectations and requirements to the actual services provided by the PPSC,” he pointed out.
Most importantly, Lacson stressed police officers should “stand firm against various tests of endurance,” showing not just physical but moral strength.
Lacson cited a 2004 PNP Reform Commission Report showing the quality of training conducted by the NPTI has deteriorated over the years.
Also, a joint study by the Philippine government and United Nations Development Program in 2005 noted the PPSC’s lack of accountability on its graduates’ quality of performance.
Such a mismatch in the educational system may be the reason why many rookie police personnel get involved in criminal activities, Lacson lamented.
“By instituting reforms in the current system, we are strengthening the foundation of a highly efficient, effective and component police force,” Lacson said.
Once the bill is passed into law, the PNP Academy will still accommodate BJMP and BFP cadets for five years – enough time for the BJMP and BFP to develop and professionalize their own personnel, according to the bill.
The bill also authorizes the Department of Interior and Local Government to create learning institutions for the BJMP and BFP under the PPSC within the five-year transition period.