(L-R) Puerto Princesa City Councilor Roy Ventura, Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates, Mayor Lucilo Bayron, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, and 3rd Palawan District Rep. Gil Acosta Jr. are seen in this photo taken on August 30, 2021, during the blessing and inauguration of the new City Police Station 2 building at the Palawan Integrated Agricultural Trading Center in Barangay Irawan. (Photo courtesy of City Mayor's Office-Puerto Princesa)

Mayor Lucilo Bayron appealed Monday to visiting Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar for additional police to meet its growing security needs.

Bayron said the current police force of 566 in the city is not adequate for its population of over 300,000 residents.

Eleazar was in the city to inaugurate the new building of the City Police Station 2 at the Irawan Integrated Agriculture Center in Barangay Irawan.

In his address, Mayor Bayron expressed concern about possible attempts of the New People’s Army (NPA) to infiltrate its rural barangays.

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“This is our way of preempting the entry of insurgency sa mga rural barangays ng Puerto Princesa. Siguro naman, general, you’ve heard na may mga instances doon sa northern Palawan, sa southern Palawan, mayroong mga skirmishes between yong insurgents and mga military natin and police force,” Bayron said.

The City Police Station 2 building in Barangay Irawan. (Photo courtesy of City Mayor’s Office-Puerto Princesa)

“Bago pa sila makapasok, kailangan nandoon na ang government, kasi ang thinking namin papasok sila because the government is not there,” he added.

Bayron said they plan to put up new police stations in the rural barangays of Macarascas, San Rafael, Napsan, and Luzviminda.

“Ang aming population is 309,000 people. Kapag kinuha yong ideal police population ratio, kailangan namin ng 600 something na policemen. But at the moment, we only have 566, so doon pa lang kulang na kaagad. Ang laki-laki ng siyudad. Nag put up kami nito (City Police Station 2), siguro, hindi ko rin alam, hindi bababa sa 20 ang dapat magtatrabaho dito,” he said.

Eleazar said the PNP is in the process of recruiting and hiring 17,000 police personnel this year despite the pandemic.

He said the city government can expect that the police personnel who will be deployed in the local government units (LGUs) are those who will be best for the job.

“While we are programming the increase of personnel, of course, not only in this CPO (City Police Office), doon sa pangangailangan ng iba’t iba nating police units, asahan niyo po na ang ilalagay nating mga police ay yong nararapat. At kung maaari siyempre, ay taga rito rin sa inyong mga lugar,” Eleazar said.

“Yon pong mga nabanggit niyo kanina will be considered seriously and we will discuss this with our directorate for personnel and records management and in coordination with the regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) of MIMAROPA,” he added.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.