Despite the steady crime rate decline in the country, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año continues to urge local government units (LGUs) and government agencies to '"go the extra mile" in support of the anti-crime initiatives of the government following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to support the National Crime Prevention Program (NCPP).
Spearheaded by the National Police Commission (Napolcom), one of DILG's attached agencies, NCPP operationalizes the strategies for ensuring security, public order, and safety under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
"We have achieved great strides in our anti-criminality efforts, especially in the past three years, but we cannot be complacent, especially the LGUs. On the contrary, with this development, we should go the extra mile. The DILG cannot do this alone. Having the support of all government agencies, most especially the LGUs, can spell a great difference in our efforts to counter crimes," Año says.
According to the data of the Philippine National Police (PNP), as of June 2019, there are 194,405 crimes recorded, following a descending trend since 2017 which registered 520,641 and 490,393 for 2018.
The data also shows an increasing percentage of crime solution efficiency with June 2019 marking the biggest number of 79.17 percent.
"These are good numbers but it doesn't mean that we will let our guards down, NCPP 2019 gives us a blueprint to continue in our anti-criminality initiatives," Año says.
The President's order
Through Memorandum Circular No. 66, President Duterte directed "to ensure the success of NCPP and in light with the whole-of-government approach in addressing criminality, it is necessary to ensure the cooperation of all government agencies, as well as LGUs in the implementation of the 2019 NCPP."
Año says that the President's order is a welcome development as it signifies his intention to see NCPP's fruition and his desire to see everyone's involvement in the fulfillment of its provisions. "Sa Pangulo na mismo nanggaling ang kagustuhan na ating pagtulung-tulungan na maisagawa ang nilalayon ng NCPP. Sana po ay makiisa tayong lahat."
"We welcome the President's order for all agencies and LGUs to support the NCPP initiatives. In most of our society's predicaments, synergy and cooperation must always be our primary go-to strategy and his directive is a nod towards that direction," he says.
He says that NCPP, if efficiently implemented by the concerned stakeholders, can drastically decrease crime rates across the country as it focuses on four themes, namely anti-illegal drugs, anti-criminality, anti-corruption, and the expansion of Community Service-Policing (CSOP) System.
He explains that these four themes were integrated in various initiatives under the pillars of the government such as the Law Enforcement Pillar, Prosecution and Courts Pillars, Corrections Pillar, and Community Pillar.
Among the major continuing NCPP initiatives for 2019 under the anti-illegal drugs theme for the Law Enforcement Pillar are intensified Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) through the establishment of Regional ICADs; conduct of National BDCP Orientation with DILG; and Development of Guidelines on Handling Children Involved in Illegal Drug Activities.
Improve case management and monitoring with implementation of the Prosecution Case Management System (PCMS), as part of the National Justice Information System (NJIS); rationalizing procedures related to criminal prosecution including bail bond, plea bargaining, evidence management system, and administrative case management processes; expedite resolution of criminal cases by increasing effectiveness of criminal prosecution are some of the strategies under the anti-criminality theme for the Prosecution and Courts Pillars, while initiatives under the CSOP for the Community Pillar are the continued and enhanced orientation of newly-elected officials on CSOP (PNP and LGU); and strengthening of institutions at community level, such as the Barangay Peace and Order Committee (BPOC), Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).
Meanwhile, initiatives falling on the anti-corruption are the implementation of the Integrity Development Program through the conduct of Strengthening Discipline, Leadership and Performance (SDLeAP); enhanced implementation of internal cleansing initiative/intelligence - reporting of illegal gambling; filing of criminal cases against PNP members; Integrity Enhancement Program; and PNP Internal Cleansing Strategy, among others.