The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing to provide a pistol and a rifle for each of the 200,000 policemen in the country by 2020, a key police official said on Monday.
Chief Supt. Angelito Casimiro, PNP Director for Logistics, said there is an ongoing procurement of equipment to boost the operation and intelligence functions of the police.
To date, only 82 percent of policemen have pistols while 68 percent have rifles. However, the figures are higher than the 33 percent of policemen with short firearms and 24 percent with long barrel firearms before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“If we want our policemen to be respected, we have to provide them with decent police car, equipment, investigation kits, and proper training,” Casimiro told reporters.
The PNP’s small firearms are produced from one of the world’s largest gun-makers, Forjas Taurus, which is based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Casimiro personally inspected the factory to check the capability of the firearms.
Casimiro was in Leyte to lead the handover of PHP56.8 million worth of internal security operations equipment and field investigators crime scene kit for PNP regional office and field offices in Eastern Visayas.
The distribution is part of the PNP modernization program where the law enforcement agency got a higher budget under the Duterte administration. The official said this is just the first batch of delivery.
Casimiro said the central government provided PHP2.9 billion for 2019 and PHP7.79 billion for 2018. This is higher than the PHP2 billion annual budget received by PNP from 2008 to 2016.
On top of firearms, the PNP has been procuring choppers, patrol cars, thermal imagers, global positioning system, field investigation kits, protective gears, and other assets “critical for the performance of PNP’s functions.”
“The present leadership provided us resources that made history in PNP. This will further boost our operation and intelligence functions as well as the morale and welfare of our personnel. Gone will be the days that we will be fighting the enemy with both hands held behind use because we don’t have the equipment and protection,” Casimiro added.
The official emphasized the need to boost the capability of PNP, considering that policemen are present in every city and town. Just like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, some policemen are also engaged in internal security operations and counter-terrorism. (PNA)