THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) welcomes the signing of a new law which modifies the rank classification in the Philippine National Police (PNP) as it will ensure improved and smooth coordination between the police and its military counterparts as well as address the public’s confusion with the ranks.
“We are grateful to President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Congress for the approval of Republic Act 11200 because this will result in enhanced relations and cooperation between the police organization and other law enforcement agencies as well as those from foreign police departments,” says DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
He says that the law will also eliminate the confusion among the public who are used to calling police officers by their military rank equivalent.
He explained that Filipinos are still not used to the current police ranks like inspector or superintendent “so to avoid confusion, we would rather that they use military ranks.”
“I have noticed during conferences and meetings that even police officers still address each other with their military ranks, so it is better that we stick to what they are accustomed to,” says Año, who is a former Armed Forces Chief of Staff.
Republic Act 11200, which was signed into law last February 8 provides for a new rank classification in the PNP, amending Section 28 of Republic Act 6975 or the DILG Act of 1990.
Under the new law, the PNP rank classification will still be distinct because the ranks will be preceded by the word “Police” as follows: Director-General to Police General; Deputy Director-General to Police Lieutenant General; Director to Police Major General; Chief Superintendent to Police Brigadier General; Senior Superintendent to Police Colonel; Superintendent to Police Lieutenant Colonel; Chief Inspector to Police Major; Senior Inspector to Police Captain; Inspector to Police Lieutenant; SPO4 to Police Executive Master Sergeant; SPO3 to Police Chief Master Sergeant; SPO2 to Police Senior Master Sergeant; SPO1 to Police Master Sergeant; PO3 to Police Staff Sergeant; PO2 to Police Corporal; PO1 to Patrolman/Patrolwoman.
The DILG chief dismisses speculations that the modified ranks signal the militarization of the PNP.
“I assure you that the PNP will continue to be civilian in character. They have won the hearts and the support of the people that way with their continuous engagement with the community and their service-oriented perspective,” he says.
He says that no matter how police personnel are addressed, what is important is their professionalism, discipline, and competence in serving the public.
“More than their ranks and how they are called, the police should ascribe more value on what those ranks represent – and that is the unique opportunity to serve and protect the public,” says Año.