Public Safety

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Chapter I

THE PROBLEM
This chapter provides the background of the problem, conceptual framework, Research hypothesis, significant of the study, scope and limitation and definition of terms.

Introduction
The duty of the government to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution states, “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military or civil service.”

It is along this mandate that the state aims to establish a highly efficient and competent police force, the Philippine National Police. The PNP is an organization that is national in scope and civilian in character. It is a nationwide government organization whose jurisdiction covers the entire breath of the Philippines archipelago. As such, all PNP personnel both the uniformed and non-uniformed components are national government employees. They are civilian in character because the organization is independent from the military counterpart (Manwong, 2006).

The PNP is headed by a chief with the rank of Director-General. He has the power to direct and control tactical as well as strategic movements, deployments, placement and utilization of the PNP and any of its units and personnel including its equipment, facilities and other resources. The PNP has a national office, a number of regional offices, provincial offices, district, city and municipal stations. On the average, nationwide, the manning levels of the PNP is strictly in accordance with the police-population ratio of one for every five hundred persons but the minimum police-population ratio shall not be less than one policeman for every one thousand persons.

With this manpower requirement, which is difficult to meet, the PNP also has to rely on solidarity with the people in the community on matters related to peacekeeping. As stated in the PNP’s Manual on Barangay Peacekeeping Operations, “Bayanihan answers the need for the whole neighborhood to get involved in policing and law enforcement. The community relies upon the police to “serve and protect” and the police in turn rely upon community support and cooperation in order to be effective”. The PNP likewise have in its mission that peace and order and public safety can be assured only with the active involvement of the community.

It is with this mindset that the PNP wanted to lead the fight against criminality, through citizen involvement and community empowerment. Thus, the PNP recognizes the role of the barangay tanods in the fight against criminality, insurgency and terrorism.

A Barangay Tanod is a local volunteer who has been deputized and trained to to carry out basic security functions under the auspice of the Barangay Captain for their barangay. This is likely to include basic police functions from arrests, traffic control, keeping the police although the post is quite flexible dependent on the context of the barangay in which they work. They do not tend to carry firearms but sometimes they do, on occasion without a license and therefore are unlikely to have training in it. More often they will be armed with a baton, often made of rattan.

The role of the barangay tanods in peace keeping cannot be undermined. Given that peacekeeping is the basic function of the police and being that police visibility is one of the main thrusts of peacekeeping activity, law enforcement activities of the tanods such as ‘ronda” from one place to another would be of great help towards this end.

However, the performance of these roles is not without risk involved as hazards go with the fulfillment of the duties of the barangay tanods. These are just some of the problems which should be addressed in order for the role of the...
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