Lady solon urges professionalization of police recruitment, promotional system

A ranking member of the House of Representatives called on lawmakers Wednesday to pass a proposed measure that would professionalize the recruitment and selection process as well as the promotion system of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure an honorable, competent and service oriented police organization.

Rep. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles (2nd District, Zamboanga del Sur), Chairperson of the House Committee on Welfare of Children, filed House Bill 1996, which modifies the recruitment and selection process of the PNP, amending Republic Act 8551 also known as the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.

Enerio-Cerilles called for the immediate approval of the bill in view of the reported massive cheating in the entrance examinations and promotional tests of the police.  Reports said cheating has allegedly allowed non-qualified police aspirants to get into the police force.

“It is disheartening to know that even those who aspire to protect life, liberty and property are the ones involved in fraudulent acts just to enter the PNP,” Enerio-Cerilles said.

Enerio-Cerilles said that with the scandal in the recruitment process, it is high time that the pre-qualifying examinations for new policemen, which are civilian in character, should be professionalized.

“A strict process must be implemented to ensure that only the best, good and honorable individuals become part on the force,” Enerio-Cerilles said adding that through this process, the people are assured that all men and women in uniform are competent enforcers of the law and deserve the respect and admiration of the public.

The bill strictly mandates that no person shall be appointed as officer or member of the PNP unless he or she is a Filipino citizen; a person with good moral character; a Bachelor of Science in Criminology graduate; and has passed the licensure examination for criminology.

For the purpose of determining compliance with the requirements on physical and mental health, as well as the non-use of prohibited drugs, the bill provides that the PNP by itself or through a NAPOLCOM accredited government hospital shall conduct regular psychiatric, psychological drug and physical tests randomly and without notice.

After the specific time frame for vital requirements, current members of the PNP who will fail to meet any of the required tests shall be separated from the service, the bill said.

“Only when peace and order, security and a life of dignity are established and maintained, will political stability and economic prosperity become attainable and the people truly enjoy the blessings of independence and democracy,” Enerio-Cerilles added.

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