THE House committee on public order and safety has approved a bill seeking to double the percentage of new job openings for women police officers.

House Bill 8689, when passed into law, can create 10,000 extra positions for policewomen, according to the bill’s author, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel.

“Besides giving women greater opportunity to join the PNP (Philippine National Police), our intention here is to push up the absolute number of female officers in the force over time,” Pimentel also said.

House Bill 8689 seeks to amend the 21-year-old PNP Reform Law that reserves for women only 10 percent of all new slots for recruits.

At present, the PNP has only 22,800 female officers.

That is less than 12 percent of the entire police force which is 194,410, Pimentel said.

“We want the PNP to achieve the ideal situation wherein female officers shall have exclusive supervision over women and children brought to police stations for custodial investigation,” he added.

Pimentel filed HB 8689 in November, following reports that a male officer raped a 15-year-old girl whose parents were arrested for alleged drug offenses.

Co-authors of HB 8689 are Mandaluyong Rep. Alexandria Gonzales, Antipolo Rep. Chiqui Roa-Puno, Biliran Rep. Marlyn Alonte, Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Ann Hofer, among others. (SunStar Philippines)