The barangay tanod system

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By Nerie Bayan

ABC Reports

Thursday, February 24, 2011


PEACE and order is an essential ingredient in maintaining economic development, social order and political stability. A state of peace and order assists the growth of investments, generates more opportunities for employment and attracts more tourists.

Foremost in the government's agenda is the promotion of peace and order. This is exemplified in the city's continuous and active campaign against criminality. However, threats to peace and order continue due to undermanned police force as one reason. The City of Baguio has a total of 436 police officers. The ideal rate is 1 police officer for every 500 constituents. With approximately 325,000 population of the city, the ratio then falls to 1 officer to 745 constituents.

With this scenario, there may be certain functions which the police force cannot immediately discharge especially with respect to the implementation of national and local laws within barangays. This is where the role of the barangay tanods would come in. Although not entirely equipped with the authority to discharge functions and power similar to the police, they play an important role in maintaining peace and order within the barangay level, to somehow augment the performance of functions of the police force.

Provided in the trainors guidebook of the DILG, the duties and responsibilities of the barangay tanod among others include: assist the barangay officials in the prevention of crime and promotion of public safety through patrol/"ronda", reporting of any disturbance or untoward incidents to the concerned offices, monitor the presence and activities of suspicious persons and lawless elements; assist the police and lupong tagapamayapa in the execution of warrants and other judicial processes; and assist the barangay officials in the implementation of national and local laws; and other means as deemed proper in crime prevention.

Last February 22, 2011, the ABC Office headed by Hon. Joel A. Alangsab, held the general assembly and election of officers of Federation of Barangay Tanods wherein Mr. Murphy Alimba from Lower Dagsian was elected as president. The event was attended to by about 392 barangay tanods representing 88 barangays of the city. The presence of the police officials and station commanders of the city showed much support of the police force to the barangay tanods.

P/Supt. Constancio Chinayog acknowledged the efforts of the barangay tanods in their assistance to maintain peace and order. At the end of the Government, the Office of Congressman and the City Mayor ensured the grant of insurance to the newly appointed barangay tanods as those earlier appointed have already received their respective insurance. Hon. Edison Bilog also expressed the efforts of his office in acquiring certain equipments for the barangay tanods such as ID, vests, flashlights, and other privileges. In addition, Mr. Eitosan Ikiuchi also offered free Aikido training for the tanods.

Even with such concerted efforts of the ABC Office and the City Government to provide more benefits to the barangay tanods, it must be acknowledged that the spirit of volunteerism and public service stands, for despite their meager honorarium, the barangay tanods are persistently active in discharging their roles and responsibilities to ensure the safety of the constituents.

P/Supt. Chinayog expressed, "the tanods during the time of the Datus serve as the well-admired and feared peace enforcers." It is then with the hope that the barangay tanods could looked up to with much respect within their barangays for them to be able to easily discharge their functions as agents of peace and order. But such respect does not come automatically with the position; rather it is earned, for as the saying goes, "Respect begets respect."

Hence, the barangay tanods must project themselves and act in a manner worthy of such respect, for the people to see them with much admiration and value.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 25, 2011.

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