THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill seeking to raise the quota requirement for female officers in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
House Bill (HB) No. 9058 authored by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Ty Pimentel seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 8551 or the “PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998,” specifically Section 58 entitled “Prioritization of Women for Recruitment,”so the present recruitment quota of 10 percent for women shall be increased.
The amendment provides that the PNP shall reserve 15 percent of its annual recruitment, training and education quota for women. Moreover, the recruitment quota for women shall be increased to 20 percent thereafter.
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall promulgate the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.
Pimentel said RA 8551, enacted 20 years ago provided for the establishment of Women and Children Protection Desks in all police stations to cater to the special needs of women and children in relation to crimes against chastity, sexual harassment and other abuses. The law also mandated a 10 percent recruitment quota for women PNP officers.
“Twenty years hence, the present circumstances make it ripe for an increase in the recruitment quota for female members of the PNP uniformed personnel. We are made to rethink this administrative reform in the wake of abuses of male officers against women and children in their custody. It should be the State policy that only female officers should have direct and immediate custody of women and children brought to the police stations,” said Pimentel.
“In other jurisdictions with strong child protection, whenever a minor is involved in an incident, male officers are prohibited from taking custody of the child without the presence of female officers to prevent some abuses,” said Pimentel.