Marcos vetoes measure seeking PNP organizational reform

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of PCO)

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has vetoed the proposed measure for the implementation of organizational reforms within the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Marcos said Senate Bill No. 2449, the counterpart of House Bill No. 8327, or 'An Act Providing for Organizational Reforms in the PNP, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 6975, known as The Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, as amended, and Republic Act No. 8551, the PNP Reform and Reorganizational Act of 1998, runs counter to administrative policy and efficiency.

The chief executive noted the National Government Rightsizing program, which seeks to remove redundant government positions and duplicity of work.

Among the salient points of the measure is to elevate the status of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Cadets to that of Police Cadets with entry-level remuneration equivalent to Salary Grade 21, which will guarantee their status as government employees with corresponding benefits and emoluments.

He expressed belief that the grant of Salary Grade 21 to PNPA Cadets would distort the base pay schedule of the Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) by creating disparity among the several government cadetship programs.

“The reorganization established under the bill does not consider the functional relationships of the different offices and fails to clarify reporting lines,” said Marcos.

He noted that a bloated and overstaffed organization due to the creation of redundant, overlapping, and ambiguous offices may result in bureaucratic inefficiencies.

“Different offices performing the same or related functions, all headed by high ranking officials, will definitely be counterproductive and will defeat the purpose of enhancing the span of supervision and administrative control of the PNP Chief,” he added.

Marcos said he is also against the creation of the Liaison Office for the Office of the President (OP), which may pose security and confidentiality risks, and the Liaison Office for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which may insulate the head of the PNP and the DILG secretary.

He also took note of the purported enhancement of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) by adding the ground of the alleged involvement of police officers in illegal activities like murder for the IAS’ motu proprio investigation.

“However, the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group, supposedly intended to be responsible for information gathering and enforcement operations against PNP personnel reported to be involved in illegal activities, is brought under the National Operational Support Units. This may lead to questions about its independence,” the President said.

Marcos said the measure is lacking of provision that would enhance the capability of the police leadership to implement the highest standards of integrity and accountability in the police force.

He said the retroactive application of the bill as to the “rights and benefits granted by virtue of appointments, promotions or resignations prior to its effectivity” which was among the provisions of the proposed measure is “ambiguous and at the same time vague as it needs clarifications and omits comprehensible standards.”

“For instance, what are the rights and benefits contemplated and how can the rights and benefits be retroactively applied to individuals who had already been separated from service? The provision may breed confusion,” Marcos said.

He said this should have been prioritized to ensure the implementation of true reform in the organization. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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