PNP Members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police help bring real government service to the ‘poorest of the the poor’ including children in the remotest part of the country.

PNP-SAF commandos new ally of ‘poorest of the poor’

December 22, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 826 views

THEY have been trained to go after the New People’s Army and other enemies of the state for years but over the past four months, commandos from the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police have been employing a sure formula to help regain the Filipinos’ trust: help bring real government service to the marginalized people.

For PNP-SAF director, newly-promoted Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo, their men have been mingling with the ‘poorest of the poor’ in far-away provinces or the so-called Geographically Isolated and Disadvantageous Areas or GIDAS since last August not only to protect them but most importantly, to care after them.

“We’re trying our very best to bring smiles on their faces particularly this Christmas by regaining their trust and confidence, by making them believe that PNP-SAF troopers can always be relied upon,” said the member of PNP Academy Class 1992.

PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. has heaped praises on the PNP-SAF’s efforts to launch their own ‘Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay’ program in the countryside since he designated Okubo as its commander last August 8.

The PNP-SAF director used to supervise the R-PSB program of the Police Regional Office 11 launched by its former director, now Area Police Command-Eastern Mindanao head, Lieutenant Gen. Filmore B. Escobal.

Since August, SAF commandos have been performing risky missions to provide real government service to poor people in different parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with the support of different government agencies, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders and Good Samaritans.

In Sitio Bandaging, Barangay Datalbalo in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, members of the 4th Special Action Battalion’s R-PSB Team have been helping local residents in coordination with local government units and the Philippine Army.

The past four months saw the SAF troopers helping build a day-care enter in the area, conduct food-feeding and tree-planting activities and distribute school supplies to public school students.

In Paowin, Cavinti, Laguna, the 82nd Special Action Company’s R-PSB had already been providing since August have been busy supporting local residents. Apart from having distributed hygiene kits to the poor folks, the troops have also helped provide free haircut, circumcision, free dental and medical mission and distributed 400 medicine packs and 250 eyeglasses and 120 sacks of rice in the area.

The commando medics have also helped in anti-rabies vaccination, distributed thousands of seedlings and over 200 fertilizer bags while helping residents get their birth and marriage certificates, register with Pag-Ibig and Social Security System.

The 82nd SAC personnel have also given 37 solar-powered lighting systems and provided solar maintenance training programs to the residents.

They have also helped provide livelihood training programs including rug-making and production of dishwashing liquid, soap and candles to the residents to enable them to start their small business.

In Sitio Tanjung, Bgy. Kajatian in Indanan, Sulu, the 72nd SAC of the SAF’s 7th SAB have mingled with members of the Samah tribe, otherwise known as the seafaring ‘Badjaos’ to help bring government service much closer to the sea nomads.

Brig. Gen. Okubo said they have partnered with local officials to be able to penetrate the area which was previously known for being a haven of drug smugglers and lawless elements and terrorists hiding from the law.

As a result, the PNP-SAF team spearheaded the launching of the Ugnayan sa Barangay in the area which paved the way for medical and social services for over 700 poor folk.

In Bgy. San Isidro in Sergio Osmeña Sr. in Zamboanga del Norte, a Need Assessment Survey conducted by the R-PSB team from the 52nd SAC led to the findings that lack of potable water supply is the main problem of local residents.

As a result, the PNP-SAF came up with a ‘water tank and reservoir’ project which has already been recommended for approval by the local mayor to the governor’s office.

While waiting for the approval of the project proposal, the same R-PSB team decided to provide training on basic radio operation, handcuffing techniques and first-aid to local barangay security personnel. They also helped register the Women’s Rattan-Making Association of San Isidro with the Department of Labor and Employment.

In Bgy. San Roque in San Isidro, Davao Oriental, troopers from the 113th SAC of the 11th SAB helped repair 30 school chairs for local students and provided refresher training on basic handcuffing and self-defense techniques to barangay security officers.

The commandos also helped paint a local basketball court to bring cheers to students and other local residents,

In Bgy. San Francisco in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, an R-PSB team from the 104th SAC of the 10th SAB helped construct the local barangay health center and the San Francisco Elementary School’s stock room.

They have also conducted several medical missions and provided police assistance to residents affected by Typhoon ‘Paeng’ by helping haul garbage brought about by rain-induced flooding.

On the other hand, members of the 64th SAC of the 6th SAB have been deployed in the NPA-influenced Bgy. San Agustin in Isabela, Negros Occidental to help construct two public comfort rooms funded by the commandos themselves and their supporters.

The team also installed four solar-powered street lights in the flood-prone barangay and helped a local resident use pesticide on his rice farm. At one point, the commandos also helped a local rice planter harvest his crop. Local residents also applauded them when they transported an 81-year old sick resident, Junito Storquio from his house to the local health center for a medical check-up.

The troops also will help in the renovation of the tribal hall and the construction of a 300-meter long farm-to-market road in the area as well as a local water supply system.

In another NPA-influenced area, specifically Bgy. Gapasan in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro, members of the 102nd SAC, with the support of different government agencies and LGUs, have constructed a hand washing station at the Gapasan Elementary School; repaired the school roof and multi-purpose pavement while providing livelihood training to local residents.

The PNP-SAF activities have been bearing significant results since last August. Apart from making the poor fully aware of the recruitment activities of the NPA and bringing real government service to them, the SAF commandos’ good deeds have largely been noticed by people on the ground, including a number of enemies of the state who have already surrendered to the PNP after realizing the sincerity of the troopers.