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PNP chief asks cops to perform better 

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Camilo Cascolan, expressed hope that the police officers reassigned near their places of residence or in their hometowns would take care of their families and perform their jobs better, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

“Be sure that you do your job well, there’s no more reason for you to err because once you transfer near your residence at nagkamali pa rin kayo at gumawa pa rin kayo ng mga kalokohan nyo (and you still commit infractions or do something wrong), I think there’s no more chance for you, we need to dismiss you,” Cascolan said in his speech during the send-off ceremony for 2,222 police officers who availed of the PNP's localization program in Camp Crame on Wednesday.

Cascolan added that through this, police officers can also spend quality time with their families.

Lalo na yung mga pamilyado mas gusto nila sa lugar nila or sa lugar ng (asawa) nila (Particularly for those who have families, they would prefer to be assigned in their hometowns and be with their spouses) because they would be able to take care of their families, do their jobs much better. Wala silang iisipin, okay yung pamilya ko, nandito yung pamilya ko. Habang kung nasa malayo ka (They won't think about their families anymore, they are with their families now. Because if you are far away), if you are assigned in BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) and your family is in Region 1 (Ilocos Region), they will always call you,” Cascolan said.

He added that the program is more of an advantage than a disadvantage, shrugging off the stereotype that police officers assigned in their hometowns are more likely to commit abuses.

“Maybe those who are committing abuses are just those who are brazen. Especially in the provinces, have you heard about many police officers who commit abuses in their area of residence?) Tell me. Because if you assign yourself to other areas, other than your areas of residence, there is a tendency for abuse because they think 'nobody knows me here, I will extort and get rich here'," he said in Filipino.

He noted those cops who have pending cases will not be included in the localization program.

He, meanwhile, urged the public to report possible abuses or criminal acts committed by police officers who were deployed in their hometowns.

“You will have to attend hearings. You will not just be transferred. You have to finish your case,” he said.

Cascolan said through the localization program, the PNP would also be able to see the areas that are lacking in police personnel and adjust their deployment scheme accordingly.

In a pre-recorded video message, several police officers expressed gratitude after their requests to be assigned near their hometowns have been granted.

S/Sgt. Raiza Vito, who has been assigned in the Zamboanga Peninsula for the past three years, said she is happy as she would finally be with her family in Metro Manila.

Gusto ko na rin talagang mabuo ang pamilya namin (I've been longing to be with my family),” she said.

M/Sgt. Ricardo Domens, who is assigned in Western Visayas, would be transferred to Central Visayas, which is nearer to his family.

Bilang ganti Sir, sisikapin ko pong maserbisyuhan ang ating bayan dahil alam ko ang lugar na aking pagseserbisyuhan kasi dito po ako lumaki at tumira (In return, I would do my best to serve the nation to the best of my ability because this is my hometown and this is where I lived and grew up),” he said.

Domen’s children were also elated by their patriarch’s reassignment.

“Sir, we would like to thank you for your amazing program. This program lets us father to be assigned to our community which means he can spend more time with us and have fewer expenses in terms of travel,” his daughter said.

The Localization of Assignment program, initiated by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM), is stated under Section 63 of Republic Act 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.

The law indicates the provision for PNP members with the ranks of Patrolman/woman up to Police Executive Master Sergeant will be “assigned to the city and municipality of their recruitment and/or place of residence or if not possible, to the closest municipality, province or regions to his residence”.

Cascolan said movement of personnel initially covers inter-regional reassignment of personnel to their hometowns and places of permanent residence to give them a strong sense of ownership of their locality and in the process, induce better performance.

The DPRM is in charge of processing the requests for localization programs to fast-track their records for the swapping of personnel.

The DPRM also reminded requesting personnel that “only applicants who submitted an affidavit of undertaking availing the localization of assignment will be considered for processing”.

Applicants must also be cleared of money and property accountabilities from his/her present office or unit.

Once a reassignment order is released, the DPRM would no longer entertain requests for its cancellation.

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