THE POSITION PAPER OF THE

PHILIPPINE NATIONALPOLICE ACADEMY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC.

ON THE TRANSFER OF THE PNPA FROM THE PPSC TO THE PNP

Introduction

In 1990, as a result of the passage of Republic Act 6975, otherwise known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Act of 1990, all training and educational institutions catering to the police, fire and jail services in the country were consolidated into a single authority known as the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC). Under this conceptual framework, the PPSC subsumed at the outset the following offices or units under the defunct Integrated National Police (INP):

a. The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA);

b. The Police National Training Institute (PNTI), including 9 of its subordinate Regional Training Schools (RTS) countrywide;

c. The Fire National Training Institute (FNTI);

Subsequently, the National Police College (NPC), the National Crime Research and Training Institute (NCRTI), the Jail National Training Institute (JNTI) and 5 additional RTS were are activated by PPSC,

Today, these units/offices form the different Constitutive Institutions under the PPSC, thus transforming the latter not merely as a governmental bureau of the DILG but also delineates its status as a public safety training and educational system. As a system, the PPSC is organized to provide a total and holistic approach in order to carry out its mandate of “training, human resource development and continuing education of all personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP),” Under the PPSC system, a public safety practitioner (whether entering the service as a rank and file uniformed personnel or as a cadet) is given the opportunity to grow professionally commencing from career entry to career advancement and progression with a series of well-defined courses of study commensurate to each rank and position.

Current Legislative Initiatives

In the midst of these progressive endeavors, there are moves within Congress to amend or alter the current existing PPSC system that would dismember its organizational structure. In essence, legislative initiatives proposes the following:

a. Transfer the administration and operation of the PNPA, NPC and PNTI from the PPSC to the PNP.

b. Retain only the training and education of BFP and BJMP personnel under the PPSC.

c. Reorganize the PPSC Board of Trustees to be composed of the DILG Secretary and the Chiefs of the BFP and BJMP.

The proposed amendments to the original provisions on the PPSC of RA 6975 advanced the following arguments:

a. Most, if not all countries with successful human resource development programs, are adopting the best practice of organizing and placing their police academies and training units directly under heads of their police forces, such as the United Kingdom, the United States,Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China.

b. The researches and studies performed by the PNP Reform Commission and the United Nations Development Programme revealed that the current set-up is ineffective and costly. The current structure allows lapses in coordination of training programs, and makes it difficult to develop a system for a well-developed plan and budget for training internal to the PNP. Further, there is mismatch between the PNP training expectations and requirements and the actual services provided by the PPSC.

c. The ineffectiveness and inefficiency in the structure and system frequently result in unnecessary cost and waste of resources and efforts because the PNP conducts its own re-orientation and specialization training programs thus duplicating those of the PPSC.

d. Considering that the training serves as a support system for the upgrading of operational capability of the PNP, the PNPA, PNTI and NPC should be placed under the administrative supervision and operational control of the PNP. The PNP is more in a position to provide its own training needs.

Contrasts and Contradictions

At first and cursory glance, one is apt to accept the foregoing arguments. However, a more incisive analysis and assessment of each of these propositions reveal a fallacious reasoning advanced by the proponents.

a. Most, if not all countries with successful human resource development programs, are adopting the best practice of organizing and placing their police academies and training units directly under heads of their police forces, such as the United Kingdom, the United States,Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China.

To compare the PPSC System with police training and educational institutions abroad is like comparing apples with oranges. One cannot compare law enforcement practices in a third world country like the Philippines with those in highly developed countries. The foreign countries cited above obviously have bigger and better law enforcement budgets. With more funds and resources to spend, these nations can afford to establish not only one but an array of police training and education institutions for their different law enforcement services. The United States, for example, maintains the National Academy (NA) for its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under their Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Various police units in highly urbanized areas throughout the United States have their own police academies simply because they have enough funding support.

On the other hand, some foreign countries observe the PPSC framework, such as the Justice Institute of British Columbia, which trains all police, fire and jail personnel as well as members of the judiciary. Hence, for the Philippines to follow the lead of these foreign countries would have to allocate its meager funds to various public safety institutions, which is certainly not cost-effective.

b. The researches and studies performed by the PNP Reform Commission and the United Nations Development Programme revealed that the current set-up is ineffective and costly. The current structure allows lapses in coordination of training programs, and makes it difficult to develop a system for a well-developed plan and budget for training internal to the PNP. Further, there is mismatch between the PNP training expectations and requirements and the actual services provided by the PPSC.

Nowhere in the afore-cited PNP Reform Commission and the United Nations Development Programme Study Report does it ever recommend the transfer of PNPA, NPC and PNTI. Instead, the UNDP Study proposes “the reengineering of the institutional framework of the police education and training and particularly strengthening the capacities and organization of the PPSC.”

On the other hand, the UNDP Study even recommended the need to civilianize certain positions that do not require the expertise of police officer if only to free sworn law enforcement personnel to devote more of their time to active police duties. Similarly, the UNDP suggested the inclusion of security guards in its mandate including the accreditation and transfer of training institutions for security guards from the PNP to the PPSC.

c. Accordingly, the PPSC lacks accountability as to the quality of performance of police officers who graduated from its training institutions. The PNP remains at the receiving end of vicious criticisms, oftentimes suffering the blame for bungled and failed police operations, unsolved crimes, and many other inadequacies. The ineffectiveness and inefficiency in the structure and system frequently result in unnecessary cost and waste of resources and efforts because the PNP conducts its own re-orientation and specialization training programs thus duplicating those of the PPSC.

Fixing the blame upon the PPSC for bungled and failed police operations of the PNP, unsolved crimes and many other inadequacies, does not lend justice to other factors contributory to these deficiencies. Training which the PPSC handles for is not the sole determinant for work performance. Recruitment and leadership, which are the responsibility of the PNP, are also major considerations.

Moreover, if the PNP duplicates the work of the PPSC through the conduct of its own reorientation and specialized training programs, it would be the height of absurdity to blame the PPSC for such ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Any unnecessary cost and waste of resources and efforts are clearly the accountability of the PNP that can be streamlined or modified internally within their own organizational systems and procedures; this anomaly cannot be corrected by mere transfer of units or offices under the PPSC, who is not even responsible for the lapses in the first place.

d. Considering that the training serves as a support system for the upgrading of operational capability of the PNP, the PNPA, PNTI and NPC should be placed under the administrative supervision and operational control of the PNP. The PNP is more in a position to provide its own training needs.

This argument smacks of class legislation. It cannot be gainsaid that only the PNP needs an upgrading of its operational capability. Considering the current and foreseeable operational environment of our country, the BFP and BJMP need to be upgraded as well. Hence, this measure is intended exclusively for the interest and advantage of the PNP alone and relegates the BFP and BJMP into second-rate service bureaus.

As the proposed transfer is confined to PPSC units or offices that cater mostly to the PNP, it is highly biased and discriminatory. It does not recommend the corresponding transfer from the PPSC of the FNTI and the JNTI to the BFP and BJMP, respectively. While this is the most ideal situation wherein each bureau maintains its own separate and distinct education and training facilities, the primordial question remains whether the Philippine Government has enough fund resources to underwrite such a massive undertaking? Each bureau with its own education and training facility would require individual capital outlays and budgetary allocations, a condition that is not likely feasible under the present time.

Conclusion

Given the above prevailing circumstances, maintaining the status quo wherein the PPSC serves as the premier educational and training institution for the PNP, BFP and BJMP, is indeed the only suitable, acceptable and most economical course of action. It should be noted that the proposed measure (wherein the PNP would be responsible for administering the public safety education and training program) had already been tried and tested during the halcyon days of the erstwhile Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police. The history of public safety educational and training is replete with studies, observations and learned comments which indicate that the former PC/INP set-up regrettably did not work efficiently and effectively.

Thus, CONGRESSMAN RODRIGO B GUTANG, then Chairman of the House Committee on Public Order and Security, during the congressional hearing for the passage of Republic Act 6975, succinctly reported:

“The Committee on Public Order and Security found it wise to emphasize professionalism as far as the National Police is concerned. At the present time, the training system of the PC/INP is managed by the PC and INP. This has been going on since it has been integrated in 1976. However, Mr. Speaker, the system has been found defective in the sense that . . . the PC and the INP had the habit of detailing officers and men to the schools for the sake of getting them out of their way in the field. In short, Mr. Speaker, not all staff of the training center of the PC/INP are the best qualified to handle the training of the PC/INP. Therefore, the result is that we are wanting in the quality of as far as the professionalism is concerned.”

 CONGRESSMAN GUTANG further added:

 “The concept of this bill is to establish a separate training unit separate from the PNP proper so that the police personnel, police units can attend to their task of law enforcement and maintenance of public order and safety. . . In order words, Mr. Speaker, the educational and training center of the new Philippine National Police shall be separate from the NAPOLCOM and from the Philippine National Police proper. It shall be run just like probably, a university or a college.”

 At this juncture, it is noteworthy to mention that the PNPA as a major Constitutive Institution of the PPSC has NEVER been planned to cater exclusively to the PNP. The term Philippine National Police in the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY was coined long before the PNP as a bureau under Republic Act 6975 was established. The adoption of the name PNPA under Presidential Decree 1184, otherwise known as the Integrated National Police Personnel Professionalization Law of 1977, was intended to merely stress the importance and status of PNPA as the envisioned counterpart educational institution of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Like the PMA which caters to the Philippine Army (PA), the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the PNPA services the police, fire and jail personnel. Indeed, it would be preposterous to place the PMA under the PA simply because of its military context, while leaving the PN and PAF to fend for themselves in cadet procurement due to their naval and aviation disciplines.

 In sum, to transfer to the PNP the administration of PPSC based education and training programs with the exception of the BFP and BJMP is not only a reversion to the old system that has been proven to have miserably failed; it also attempts to dismember the PPSC from the fulfillment of its mandate of providing education and training for the PNP, BFP and BJMP. Should this reversion and dismemberment of the PPSC come to pass by way of legislation, the term PUBLIC SAFETY to cover police, fire and jail will become a farce.