In a pro-transparency move, the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) recently approved the activation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Section under the Public Information Division (PID) of the PNP Directorate for Police-Community Relations (DPCR).
This was announced by NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer, lawyer Rogelio Casurao following the issuance of Resolution No. 2018-182, dated April 17, 2018, approving the creation of an additional section under the PID-DPCR.
The so-called “FOI Section” shall be the primary repository of requests for access to information.
“The creation of the FOI Section is geared toward further enhancing the PNP’s capability and efficiency in performing its mandated functions in line with the government’s Freedom of Information Program as provided for under Executive Order No. 02. It also serves as the primary medium for promoting transparency and open exchange of information from the PNP organization to the public,” Casurao said.
The NAPOLCOM resolution also provides for the creation of the Regional FOI Sections under the Regional Police-Community Relations Divisions of the Police Regional Offices and the FOI Desks under the PNP territorial units which shall be responsible for handling, receiving, evaluating, processing, dispatching and monitoring actions and responses to all requests for access to PNP-related information within their respective areas of responsibility.
The FOI Section of the PID-DPCR and all FOI Sections/Desks nationwide shall be initially manned by 2,157 uniformed personnel composed of 124 Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 2,033 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs).
A copy of the resolution has been submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to serve as basis for the provision of supplemental budget for the recruitment of 2,033 Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP) who shall replace the PNCO complement.
Barely a month into his presidency, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No. 02 on July 23, 2016 which operationalizes in the Executive Branch the people’s constitutional right to information and the state policies to full public disclosure and transparency in the public service.
NAPOLCOM, which is an attached agency of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), has supervisory control over the PNP.