PHILIPPINE National Police Director for Police-Community Relations Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo asked the the help of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in conducting a study on the climate of fear and security in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and Visayas.
The official said the study will serve as a major tool in addressing policing issues in specific areas citing progress made by the police force in Mindanao as a result of studies made by the MinDA.
Okubo said he came up with the idea after the MinDA presented their Trust, Respect, Safety, Security and Satisfaction Study in Mindanao to Camp Crame officials.
The study aimed to bring forth the overall climate of safety and security in Mindanao and its provinces.
MinDA public relations division chief Adrian Tamayo said their 2nd quarter study revealed that the Mindanao police has gained a 90 percent trust rating, a 90 percent rights-based policing; an 88 percent safety; an 89 percent security; and an 88 percent satisfaction in the whole island.
Owing to the fact that the study is on quarterly basis, the figures only prove that people’s trust in public safety remain high and stable and that Mindanao continues to enjoy a general atmosphere of confidence on security and safety.
He added that the places ripe for economic growth are Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin.
The study said these areas in Northern Mindanao are already very ripe for tourism and investments.
Other areas cited by the MinDA study are Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte in support to rapid urbanization of Davao City in Davao region while South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat demonstrate propulsions to attract investors in Soccsksargen.
Other areas mentioned are Dinagat Islands and Surigao Del Sur to support Butuan City in Caraga; and the islands of Tawi-Tawi and Basilan in support to the expansion of Cotabato City and Maguindanao in Bangsamoro Administrative Region.
“This in effect underscores need to pour in capital support because they are ready for investments,” Tamayo explained.
MinDA chairperson Maria Belen Acosta expressed confidence on the accelerated growth of Mindanao as the impression and people’s experience in Mindanao has greatly improved and a proof that Mindanao is peaceful, beautiful and bountiful and is ready for the world.
The same group of academic experts from Mindanao has also recognized the value of the Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay (R-PSB project) in Davao region in helping address threats posed by insurgents and criminals altogether.
The study made by Tamayo, Hamlet Lerios, Napoleon Carpio, Mohammad Hashim T. Sahidaini and Jesus Juevesano centered on the R-PSB or the public safety strategy which combines internal security and community and involved a total of 620 survey respondents who are implementers of the program.
The study focused on the question ‘What are the police for?’ Officials admitted that the decades-old communist and Muslim insurgencies in the country have caused a major setback in the development and economic progress of The Philippines as well as the continued socio-economic divide between the rich center and the poor rural villages.
In order to maintain government presence and keep peace and order, police presence must remain in these areas where they are needed to perform other duties such as social services in order to gain the support and sympathy of the people.
This is where the R-PSB project comes in. The study mentioned the ‘Pulis Nyo Po sa Barangay’ program of former PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome which was launched in November 2011.
The said program saw the assignment of one policeman in every barangay who will serve as a conduit between the community and the unit/office of the assigned police officer.
Okubo is now in-charge of implementing the R-PSB program nationwide to gain the full support of the people living in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantageous Areas or GIDAS.
Okubo brought the same R-PSB program to the PNP Special Action Force and the Metro Manila police force knowing fully well its potential to convince the people to have trust in the government.
President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr. acknowledged the R-PSB program of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 when the region was declared ‘insurgency-free’ last year and got a briefing from the Armed Forces leadership regarding the matter.
Okubo said their R-PSB program helped thousands of indigenous persons (IPs) in the region who have no legal identity for so long get their birth registration papers.