(1st of a series)
PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, won’t mince a word when he says that preventing crimes can be manifested in many forms, foremost of which is by having a quality human resource program.
By that, he means clearly and directly that he wants vast improvement in the PNP’s program on selecting and training members of the police, the herculean task now lying in the hands of the Philippine National Police Training Institute or PNPTI headed by Major General Ramon L. Rafael, a proud member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987.
“Prevention for crimes to occur can be manifested in many forms. For example, under human resources— in order to attain a capable police force, we should employ stringent personnel selection. Gladly we already installed our PNP on-line recruitment application system and hopefully it will be improved into a more advance system to lessen human intervention in personnel selection,” the PNP chief said shortly after he took his oath of office as the 23rd PNP chief last month.
“We will beef-up our strength starting with the semestral recruitment. We will target two oath taking activities in a year. We will also continue to strengthen the individual competencies of personnel through trainings wherein basic police proficiency can be used in order to minimize, suppress if not eliminate criminal elements and threats,” he gladly pronounced.
The main task of training non-commissioned police officers now lies on the broad shoulders of the PNPTI which, under Rafael has been commended for making huge reforms when it comes to producing 20,000 non-officers of the police force each year.
Officials said the PNPTI’s programs completely jibe with the priority projects of Gen. Gamboa who has directed his officials to cascade their reformation effort on students of different PNP training institutions nationwide hoping that officers and men would really be prepared to avoid the temptation of being lured on easy money once they are already out there in the field.
Previous problems on training under PPSC
Prior to the enactment of Republic Act 11279 or the law which transferred the supervision of the National Police Training Institute and the PNP Academy from the Philippine Public Safety College to the PNP, the PNPTI is the major component of the PPSC conducting Mandatory Career Courses for PNCOs of the 205,000-strong police force.
Also, it has been a practice that Police Commissioned Officer or PCO Career Courses are held in the Regional Training Centers (RTCs) due to lack of resources of the National Police College (NPC), the Journal Group learned.
The trend was that the NPC will open or convene a PCO Career Course in a particular RTC and the conduct of the entire training will be delegated to the RTC personnel, a practice which runs contrary to the primary function of the RTC which is to train PNCO.
Another prevalent practice before was that recruits who were terminated from training were returned to the recruiting units (RTUs) where they were tasked to perform clerical job, act as errand boys and drivers among others while waiting for the result of the deliberation being conducted by the Unit Termination Board.
Meanwhile, the said RTU trainees continue to receive their pay and allowances which is contrary to the existing policy requiring the issuance of leave of absence without pay for the said recruits.
They will then have a year to return and finish the PSFTP or Public Safety Field Training Program subject to requirements prescribed by laws, rules and other regulations since non-compliance will mean termination from service.
Relatedly, most often than not, RTU recruits were sent back to RTC since they are usually exonerated on the termination proceedings.
As regards the PNCO Career Courses such as Junior Leadership Course (JLC), Senior Leadership Course (SLC) and Officer’s Candidate Course or OCC, the problem identified was the usual opening of off-campus classes upon the insistence of several PNP units with the approval of PPSC, thereby resulting to working students wherein the training standards are compromised.
Under the said setup, physical activities are usually not given the needed attention enabling the students to graduate without being inshape.
The problem has to be resolved since this year, all PNP National Support Units already have their quota to recruit their own personnel which will initially be trained by the PNPTI.
In 2018, President Duterte ordered the priority recruitment of PNP Special Action Force commandos although around 4,000 only answered the call to join the elite force. That year, the PNP-SAF was authorized to recruit 10,000 new commandos who will man newly-formed SAF battalions in the country.
By April, Gen. Gamboa has ordered that all new PNP recruits who will take their oath of office should already be in uniform too.
“Our no. 1 enemy is among us, ourselves. If our recruits won’t follow our training guide, what will happen? There should be a strict implementation of our training rules, there should be no sacred cows here.
Hopefully, we can sustain this until it becomes a habit, part of charges, part of a policeman’s values,” Rafael said.
(Next: Other training problems being addressed by PNPTI)