P24M set aside for police gear, vehicles-A A +A
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
LEARNING from the Quirino Grandstand fiasco, Mandaue City has earmarked P10 million to buy police equipment and another P14 million to buy vehicles for police and department heads.
But Mayor Jonas Cortes said they are still seeking the approval of the Office of the President (OP) for the purchase.
Once the city force is fully equipped, the mayor will organize a monthly shooting competition among police stations. The policemen’s monthly allowance will be based on their shooting performance, the mayor said.
Cortes made these announcements during a simulation drill last Friday in front of City Hall.
Two “bank robbers,” after sensing that police were following them, boarded a passenger bus and held hostage its passengers. The two were later neutralized.
Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) Acting City Director Noel Gillamac, who supervised the exercise, welcomed the mayor’s move.
He said he will soon designate a “community cop” in every cluster barangay, right after he discusses operation guidelines with barangay captains.
Cortes admitted that members of the City’s Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) lack equipment to address crisis situations like the hostage-taking incident in Manila last month.
And to address this problem, some policemen buy their own safety gears, like bullet-proof vests, for their own protection.
The mayor said the City allocated P10 million to buy bullet-proof vests, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles and other necessary gear for the special assault team.
As for the shooting competition, Cortes said it will hone the policemen’s skills.
The winning group or individual will get additional incentive from the City, he said.
According to MCPO records, a newly assigned policeman gets a monthly allowance of P500 from the City. A policeman who has been with the station for more than a year gets P700. A long-serving policeman gets P1,000.
Those assigned in special units and the mayor’s office receive P1,300 each.
Cortes said the City Council approved the P14 million for the purchase of vehicles for the police and City Hall department heads. It only awaits approval from the OP.
Commission on Audit Administrative Order 233 provides that “all government agencies… shall seek approval from the OP for the purchase of some types of vehicles regardless of funding sources.”
Aside from the department heads’ service vehicles, the P14 million will also cover the purchase of six patrol cars that will be stationed in the city’s six exit points:
Subangdaku, Cabancalan-Banilad, A. C Cortes, Jagobiao, Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the old bridge.
Criminal activities are easily contained and hot pursuit operations gain positive results if police cars guard these exit points, Cortes said.
The mayor said the City will also buy additional motorcycles that will be used in police patrols to save on fuel.
He said community cops in every barangay cluster will join tanods in conducting night patrols and checkpoints.
Gillamac said he will brief barangay captains during the regular Association of Barangay Councils meeting in October on their role once a policeman is assigned to their community.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2010.