After the destruction caused by Typhoon Ulysses in large parts of Luzon early this month, a ranking police official said they will be giving more focus on their humanitarian assistance disaster relief trainings and equipment.
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, the PNP deputy chief for administration, said in a statement on Sunday that the involvement of policemen in the rescue operations of trapped residents in Marikina and nearby areas and in Cagayan and Isabela provinces only proved that police forces down to the station level are an integral part of the national government’s disaster response.
“We have seen the courage and dedication of our colleagues who braved even the raging flash floods to save our trapped kababayans and who face the dangers of possible untoward incidents while clearing roads from debris and landslides as first responders,” said Eleazar in his speech during the graduation of more than 60 police officers in the Research and Development Course Class 01-2020 at Camp Crame last Friday.
The Directorate for Research and Development (DRD) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is responsible for coming up with scientific study on the training programs and procurement of equipment suitable for police units in law enforcement and other functions of the police.
“The challenge now for you, as the among the PNP’s think-tank, to come up with the best recommendations and policies to adapt to the fast-changing landscapes not only on the field of law enforcement but also on the aspect of us being one of the go-to agencies when it comes to disaster response,” he added.
Since the effects of climate change is worsening every year and with the Philippines experiencing negative impacts, Eleazar said PNP units should always adopt ways to better respond to the worse scenarios that every natural calamity could unleash.
Eleazar said regular training programs and procurement of equipment would maximize the capability of the PNP down to the city and municipal station level in terms of ensuring the safety of the people.
He said that since President Rodrigo Duterte has been very supportive of the modernization of the PNP in terms of further improving its operational capability, the DRD should come up with the best recommendations on what equipment would suit the disaster response capability of the police force.
Aside from guns, communication equipment and other equipment, Duterte has approved the procurement of helicopters for the PNP. A total of 10 choppers were already delivered to the PNP since 2016.
“And with recent calamities defining our role anew in disaster preparedness and response, I believe that it became incumbent upon you to make sure that our operational capabilities and equipage would be attuned to the demand for both our law enforcement and disaster response works,” Eleazar said.
Thousands of policemen were deployed not only for search and rescue operations during the recent floods but also in road clearing and relief operations.
The PNP mobilized more equipment for use in the ongoing disaster response efforts in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), one of the areas that suffered heavy flooding due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. (PNA)