USED to fighting Abu Sayyaf bandits, New People’s Army guerrillas and other lawless elements in the countryside, several commandos of the elite Philippine National Police Special Action Force are now involved in a much different war: ensuring reforms are done at the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.
“They are my anti-corruption warriors in the FEO,” said PNP-FEO director soon-to-be Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 in referring to PNP-SAF troopers now working in his office.
Known for being stickler to discipline, the SAF commandos are helping Binag enforce discipline in the PNP-FEO apart from ensuring that all his reform programs are implemented to the hilt.
Binag has come up with a new slogan after entering the PNP-FEO. Called “Dokumento Pila-pila, Kusang Tatakbo, kahit walang Piso-piso”, the program encourages clients of the PNP unit tasked to regulate the issuance of gun and explosives permits to help them stop corruption in the office.
It came even before President Duterte took his oath of office last June 30 and declared that he wants all government agencies and offices to release licenses and permits without any delay and the long practiced giving of grease money.
The reform programs launched by Binag at the PNP-FEO have resulted in record increase in revenue collection by the unit.
Records showed that the PNP-FEO’s total generated revenue in 2015 was P226,136,284.34. During the first six months of 2016 alone, it has already surpassed those earnings with a P230,557,763.57 collections. Credit it to the no-nonsense anti-corruption program which ensures that all money collected by the unit goes to the government coffers and not to the pockets of only a few, officials explained.
PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa also ordered the reduction of requirements needed in renewing a gun permit and streamlined the application process to shorten the wait for its release.
The 10 requirements for renewing a License to Own and Possess Firearms have been reduced to just four: the neuro-psychiatric screening, drug test, police clearance and the RTC/MTC or NBI clearance.
The PNP-FEO is now issuing a so-called “Commitment Slip” to applicants when they apply for an LTOFP. The slip states how many days the processing will take so that applicants need not keep going back to the PNP-FEO. It acknowledges the completeness, validity and correctness of the application paper of an applicant and says the date of the release of the paper a day or two after the application is filed provided it does not fall on a non-working day or a holiday.