Catarman police lacks personnel-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
Northern Samar – The Catarman police office may not be able to provide enough security for the more than 85,000 people in the town.
Catarman, which was dubbed as the most populous municipality in Eastern Visayas, has only 39 policemen currently assigned at the police station that covers 55 villages of the town.
The policemen are placed on alternate duties at 24-hour and 12-hour shifting, making an average of 20 policemen available for service during regular hours.
Superintendent Jesus Miranda, newly installed Catarman chief, said his station lacks police personnel.
“If we follow the ratio of 1:1,000 (1 policeman per 1,000 population) we need 85 personnel here. But as it is with only 39 men we are really depleted. That is why we imposed the 2-shifting instead of 3-shifting as normally practiced in other police stations. Mostly 24 hours on duty kami...,” Miranda said.
The small number of personnel is distributed into different police tasks doing investigations, operation and intelligence works, manning street traffic and patrols, responding to complaints, prosecuting criminals, attending to women and children concerns and even Muslim affairs, he added.
Some 20 field training police (FTP) personnel have been assigned at the Catarman police station, but their assignment is only temporary.
The top police official said he has brought the concern to Mayor Francisco Rosales Jr., who vowed to help in requesting for additional policemen in his area; however, Miranda said it may take time before the reinforcement will come as the police provincial office has no available policemen.
“There are other police stations in the province that also lack policemen. We’ll just wait for the response from our regional office when they send additional personnel for the whole province,” he said.
Last Tuesday, two delivery personnel of a big cigarette company were robbed. The armed robbers carted away the P132,000 cash from the personnel of Phillip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC) at Barangay Somoge, south of Catarman. The suspects also took P5,000 cash, cell phones, ATM cards and other personal belongings of the delivery personnel.
The victims were identified as Jhundil Urbano, driver of the delivery van, and Bryan Cuayzon, sales agent of Phillip Morris.
Miranda said they are expecting some personnel from the Police Public Safety Company (PPSC) to be deployed to their station as special augmentation force during the town’s festival on August 29.
He said he also asked the cooperation of the village captains and tanods in assisting police in safeguarding the people in their respective communities. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)