GENERAL SANTOS CITY – More police personnel will be deployed in the coming months in various communities in parts of the country, including those in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), under the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Revitalized “Pulis sa Barangay” Immersion Program.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Tuesday they are continually expanding the implementation of the program through the regional offices in support of the initiatives of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
He said the program, which is spearheaded by the PNP’s Police Community Relations, is an opportunity for them to help address the needs of communities and at the same time build better connections with local stakeholders
Eleazar specifically cited areas that were previously influenced by the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) and needing government interventions.
“We’re giving focus on this initiative right now to help effectively end the fight against the communist insurgency that has been going on for five decades already,” he said in a press conference here.
Under the program, police units assign selected personnel to undergo immersion for at least three months in the barangays.
In Region 12, the enhanced program was relaunched early this year in Sitio Kablan, Barangay Domolok in Alabel, Sarangani province and was joined by 12 police personnel from Alabel municipal police station and Sarangani Police Mobile Force Company.
At least 50 policemen in the region underwent technical-vocational training last year with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and were deployed as community trainers in identified “ELCAC areas.”
Some of the trained policemen were tapped as trainers on electrical installation and maintenance and carpentry in the training programs that benefited residents of indigenous people’s communities in the region.
Eleazar said the “Pulis sa Barangay” program complements the NTF-ELCAC’s convergence initiatives in the affected geographically isolated and disadvantaged barangays.
The ELCAC is the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach embodied in Executive Order (EO) 70.
Aside from the personnel immersion, he said they provide various material assistance to the communities through donations from their partners and concerned stakeholders.
“We’re showing these communities that we have a government that cares and is always ready to serve them,” he said.
The PNP chief arrived here on Tuesday morning for a three-day command visit to police units under the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12.
He graced the ceremonial turnover to the regional office of farm implements and equipment from the Department of Agriculture-Region 12 and personally awarded merit medals to several PRO-12 personnel.
Eleazar inspected local police stations and various completed facilities at the regional headquarters in Barangay Tambler.
The police official is scheduled to visit South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat on Wednesday and Sarangani Province on Thursday.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)