awmakers have been asked to consider the needs of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when they start deliberating the proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011.
“Congress should examine the budget of the PNP. I am looking at the budget to see how to improve it," said Jesse Robredo, secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that has direct supervision over the police force, at a press briefing Tuesday.
The PNP is currently under fire for the alleged botched handling of the August 23 hostage-taking incident in Manila that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
Critics blamed the tragedy to the breakdown in the PNP’s chain of command and the lack of training and equipment of the responding policemen.
Robredo said he has already instituted some changes on the disbursements of PNP funds.
For instance, Robredo said starting September, policemen will be getting P950 each for their monthly operating expenses, which is P210 more than the current P740.
With the adjusted operating allowance for law enforcers, a police station with 200 policemen, for example, will be receiving P190,000 monthly for their operating expenses.
Robredo assured the adjustments would not affect the national budget, saying the DILG was merely properly disbursing the budget in a way that it would trickle down to the municipal police levels.
“Binusisi lang namin at nakita namin kung ano ang dapat gawin para maitulak ang pera paibaba (We studied the existing budget and we found a way to have more funds reach the municipal police levels)," Robredo said.
He said he would meet with Budget Secretary Butch Abad to discuss “shortcuts" in the disbursements of PNP funds from the national treasury down to the provincial police offices (PPOs).
“Kapag dumadaan kasi iyan sa regional, nababawasan pa iyan ng 15 percent due to administrative expenses. Tapos pagbabauli sa provincial, mababawasan pa uli iyan," Robredo said.
(The budget gets trimmed down by 15 percent when it reaches the regional level because of the administrative expenses. It will be sliced further when it reaches the provincial level.) - Mark Dalan Merueñas/KBK, GMANews.TV