MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has allocated P2.4 billion to fund the recruitment of 10,000 new policemen and acquisition of equipment for the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said the fund is included in the P49.8-billion budget of the PNP.
The PNP budget is part of the P1.54 trillion national budget for 2010, which was sent to Congress for approval, officials said yesterday.
Andaya said the move would cap “an administration drive to put more cops on the streets.” The proposed 2010 General Appropriations Act is the last budget measure of the Arroyo administration.
He said the PNP’s proposed budget for 2010 is P2.4 billion higher than the police budget this year.
Once recruited, the police rookies will raise the troop level of the PNP to 142,393, from 115,743 seven years ago, and would improve the policeman-to-citizen ratio to 1:663 from last year’s 1:700, he said.
The hiring of additional policemen is part of a five-year police modernization plan, which began in 2006 when President Arroyo outlined its components in a speech during that year’s PNP anniversary rites at Camp Crame in Quezon City, he said.
The plan, which costs P10 billion, involves the purchase of equipment that will improve police mobility, communication, and firepower, Andaya said.
For next year, P2 billion will be allocated to buy guns amounting to P264 million; vehicles, P935 million; communication gear, P180 million; among other equipment.
“In addition P100 million has also been included in the 2010 budget for the construction of additional police stations,” Andaya said.
He said the decision to step up police recruitment, to 10,000 policemen in 2010 from the original plan of 3,000, was based on the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno.
Andaya said the national budget for 2010 also included P68 billion for the second installment of the four-year pay increase for government personnel.
Former economic planning secretary Ralph Recto said President Arroyo’s successor in 2010 would face a serious fiscal problem as he or she would inherit a government that is deep in debt and in deficit to the tune of more than P200 billion.
The country incurred record levels of financing deficits under Mrs. Arroyo. This year’s budget gap, officially projected to reach P255 billion, is so far the biggest. Read the complete article here at this link http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=500998&publicationSubCategoryId=63