PNP tells DU30 it could better manage PNPA, NPTI

(1st of 2-parts)

A TOP Philippine National Police official has briefed President Duterte on the transition plan they will be implementing once the Commander-in-Chief has signed a joint Senate-House bill that will transfer the supervision of the PNP Academy (PNPA) and the National Police Training Institute (NPTI) from the Philippine Public Safety College to the PNP, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

PNP The Chief Directorial Staff (TCDS), Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, said  the transition plan to enhance and modernize both training institutions in order to empower them to produce quality candidates was the product of a lengthy study of a PNP Technical Working Group.

The PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development headed by Major General Mariel M. Magaway,  the PNP Directorate for Plans headed by Major General Jonas B. Calleja and the PNP Center for Police Strategy Management headed by Brigadier General Noel A. Baraceros are involved in the massive study.

“The PNP aims to develop professional, principled and highly-skilled police officers, exemplifying ‘quality leadership and strong character’ by transforming PNPA and NPTI into primary training and educational institutions,” said Cascolan, a classmate at the Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of PNP chief, Director Geneal Oscar D. Albayalde.

He told the President that within the 5-year transition period, PNPA will continue to provide graduates to Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Fire Protection, after which said bureaus are given options to establish their respective Officer’s Training School.

Cascolan said at present, PNPA has a regular K-12-aligned semestral Bachelor of Science in Public Safety (BSPS) curriculum with academic and non-academic and department-based police knowledge and skill as well as general subjects taken across the four academic years, with no academic major, and graduates still required to undergo a 6-month-long Officer’s Basic Course after graduation.

He said that within the transition, starting with transfer, “we will be implementing the Developed K-12 and Criminology-aligned Trimester Curriculum (2 Regular Academic Term and 1 Summer/Non-Academic Term) that would entitle graduates to take Criminologist Licensure Examination and exempt them from taking Officer’s Basic Course.”

Cascolan said graduates will be accorded the degree of Basic Bachelor of Science in Public Safety with Majors in Criminology, Law Enforcement Administration, Forensic Studies, and Police-Community Development.

“Further, all general education subjects will be taken during the first two years so that cadets separated from the academy for any reason will be able to continue a four-year course,” he explained.

Cascolan told the President the PNP’s requirements for the development of the PNPA. He said that Camp Mariano Castañeda, the former Philippine Constabulary Training Command established more than half-a-century ago is the current PNPA campus where extensive wear and tear shows the age and material of its infrastructures and facilities which are only being maintained thru continuous ‘facelifting,’ save a few structures built from 1991 to present.

He said that the PNPA’s Administration Building is the remaining relic of the old Camp Castañeda which accentuates the need for immediate repair and refurbishment by implementing a development plan that would enhance the capability of the academy to produce quality police officers the nation deserves.

The PNP’s 4th-highest official likewise said  most of PNPA’s facilities and infrastructures are for demolition save for four structures that will be retained and a few that are for renovation.

“The PNPA Proposed Camp Development Plan is an audacious but prudent recourse to propel the Institution’s departure from its dire status quo and provide immediate much-needed facility structures to raise its capability akin to a world-class police training and education institution, well able to serve the nation in producing highly-professional and skilled police officers,” Cascolan told the President.

According to him, the plan ensures the efficiency of the Academy’s operation thru organized zones of camp utilization such as administration zone, academy zone, non-academic zone and cadet zone.

Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson said that as a former law enforcer himself and the 8th chief of the PNP, he knows from experience that at the minimum, a police officer should have a deep understanding of the law, physical strength and fitness, knowledge of and facility with firearms, and the justified use of force -- be it lethal or non-lethal.

Despite this, the education and training of these uniformed men at present are not provided by the PNP but by the PPSC. Sen. Lacson said that in the 2004 PNP Reform Commission Report, the PNP already viewed the setup as disadvantageous to the institution and even asserted that the quality of training conducted by the NPTI has deteriorated over the years.
(To be concluded)