SIXTEEN police stations in Cebu Province are reportedly squatting on the properties of the local government units (LGUs).
Most of these police stations are located inside the municipal halls of Alcoy, Alegria, Badian, Boljoon, Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Consolacion, Dalaguete, Dumanjug, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Ronda, Samboan, Santander and Tabogon.
Police Regional Engineering Unit 7 officer-in-charge Jay Goforth said they also do not conform to the design of a standard police station.
He said a standard police station follows the type BC design, which has three floors, a station chief’s office, conference room and a spacious detention cell.
In Catmon, the police station only has two floors and its roof needs repair.
“Ang among atop is semento but mura nag mahulog. Ang tubig molahos na sa ubos kon mag-uwan (Our roof is concrete, but it seems about to collapse. The water drips when it is raining). Our detention cell is very crowded already. We do not have our designated conference room,” said Catmon Police Station officer-in-charge Ray Ares.
Ares, in a phone interview, said the police station was built in 1991.
“Our small, square-shaped building is built on a triangular-shape lot. On the second floor is the Municipal Circuit Trial Court,” he said.
Ares said there are only 17 police officers serving the 30,471 residents of Catmon.
Newly installed Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Roderick Mariano said he will seek help from incoming governor Gwendolyn Garcia and the representatives of the seven congressional districts.
The police official—who replaced former CPPO director Manuel Abrugena on Tuesday, June 25, 2019—said he will meet Garcia on Monday, July 1.
Mariano also told the 16 town police chiefs to coordinate with their respective LGUs, and request for donations of lots for the construction of standard police stations.
Mariano said it would be difficult for his personnel to carry out their duties in an office owned by the LGU.
“We could not tell. Baka paalisin tayo (we could be evicted),” he said.
The CPPO, he said, could seek funding from Camp Crame for the construction of a police station.
As of the second quarter of 2019, only 19 of the 50 provincial police stations were already completed, according to the Responsible Supply Police Non-Commission Office’s data.
Some of the completed police stations are in the municipalities of Aloguinsan, Argao, Asturias, Bantayan and Barili, and in the cities of of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay.
The construction of the standard police stations in Oslob, Moalboal and Pinamungajan are ongoing, while the construction of the Cordova and Minglanilla police stations are still on hold.
Mariano said he also plans to request additional personnel from the Police Regional Office 7.
He said a police station needs a minimum of 30 to 35 personnel, depending on the population of an LGU.
“For now, in our study, we can say that there’s really a shortage of our police personnel,” he said. (WBS)