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PNP’s other problem: What to do with its DIPOs

  • Written by Alfred P. Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 205

CREATED in 2009 by a mere National Police Commission resolution and without authority from Congress, officials of the Philippine National Police Directorate for Integrated Police Operations or PNP-DIPOs are now seeking answers to major problems they are encountering in their quest for good governance and reforms.

“It’s high time to review the existence of PNP-DIPOs which in reality has no legal basis to exist,” said Director Victor P. Deona, a former head of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who is now the director of the PNP-DIPO Northern Luzon. 
A no-nonsense and hardworking police officer, Deona is one of the six remaining members of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1982 in the police service. He will be retiring this coming December 29.
At present, there are five PNP-DIPOs stationed in Camp Crame. The PNP DIPO Northern Luzon, DIPO Southern Luzon, DIPO Western Mindanao; DIPO Eastern Mindanao and DIPO Visayas. All five DIPOs are cramped in a small building formerly being used by the PNP Band.
Headed by a Police Director or a 2-star general, a DIPO also has a deputy director and a chief of staff who has the rank of Chief Superintendent or one-star general. Thus, the 15 police generals assigned with the five PNP-DIPOs have the distinction of being the largest number of star-rank officers occupying a single two-storey building with a very small parking space. Dividers literally separate the offices of each DIPOs too making it very easy for them to have only one or two secretaries.
Deona explained that PNP-DIPOs were not a creation of the law but only by the Napolcom. “Thus, it has no legal basis to stand on its own two feet. Unless it’s corrected, DIPOs of the PNP will suffer the same predicament we are into,” he said.
In his recent Performance Governance System (PGS) Revalida reporting, Deona bared the major issues they are encountering including limited budget since it has no ‘approved regular fund support’ which fully hamper its programs.
He said other issues facing the PNP-DIPOs are the following:
First, DIPOs are not included in the PNP Reorganization Bill thus resulting in the dampening of personnel resolve and commitment to duty which could greatly affect the internalization of the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030. Deona said that as a result, DIPOs are not perceived as regular staff at the National Headquarters with some Police Regional Offices failing to take initiatives from the DIPO as seriously as it does with other regular directorates.
Second, DIPOs have limited extend and scope of authority, it being not a regular PNP directorate. Heads of the PNP-DIPOs are not members of the powerful Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
Third, DIPOs are not a program directorate, meaning it has no budget to program and merely subsists on funds from other PNP directorates.
Fourth, it is not fully utilized or exploited as an advisory staff of the chief, PNP. During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the country in January 2015, DIPO Northern Luzon which supposedly oversees the operations of the Police Regional Offices 1,2,3 and Cordillera police regional office, 22 Police Provincial Offices, four city police offices and 398 city and municipal police stations not given roles or tasks, Deona admitted.
Fifth, DIPO initiatives could have been more seriously taken if it has its own budget to share with the Police Regional Offices just like the other PNP Directorates.
And last but not the least, its personnel fill-up of less than 50 percent affects the execution of functions and accomplishments of its mission. DIPOs have no satellite offices in the country due to lack of personnel.
Deona said that unlike the Armed Forces Northern Luzon command, DIPO-Northern Luzon does not carry much authority because it is a mere staff of the chief, PNP and not a unit that can operate with its own personnel and budget needed to exercise control over its subordinate units.