President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday more money will be allocated to the National Police—including money to buy more guns—to enable the institution to fight all forms of criminality more effectively.
He said the 74,000 members of the 148,000-strong National Police who were now without service pistols would all be armed within three years under a program to buy firearms for them in five tranches.
In a symbolic distribution of 22,603 pieces of Glock 17 Generation 4 9mm pistols in Camp Crame, Mr. Aquino, accompanied by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and National Police Chief Alan Purisima, said the National Police would now be able to keep the peace more effectively.
He said the pistols represented the first tranche of the program to arm all policemen, and that those were delivered by the US-based Glock in February and May.
He said 13,000 armalite rifles would also be purchased for the National Police’s mobile patrol units.
Aquino also said that 15,000 civilian employees would be recruited to assume the office jobs of policemen who would soon be fielded to help fight criminals.
“Instead of staying in the offices and precincts, they will be serving as extra forces to watch the communities,” Aquino said.
He made his statement even as the National Police Commission on Tuesday said it had relaxed its requirements for the applicants seeking to enter the National Police with the rank of Police Officer 1.
As a result, aspiring policemen who do not meet the height and age requirements may now join the police force and boost their numbers.
Napolcom Vice Chairman Eduardo Escueta said the commission approved Memorandum Circular 2013-014 granting special waivers to applicants who are too old or too short to join the service.
“It has been observed in previous recruitments that the recruitment quotas for the different PNP offices/units are not always filled up due to the lack of qualified applicants,” Escueta said.
He said applicants with the height of at least five feet and one inch may now apply, although they may not be less than 20 years or more than 35 years of age.
Meanwhile, Aquino on Tuesday also cited the completion of 31,200 houses for policemen, firemen and jail officers. With Ferdinand Fabella and Florante S. Solmerin