Alfred Dalizon

Shortened Camp Crame rites must benefit security guards too

April 13, 2024 Alfred P. Dalizon 113 views

I’M talking of the much-shortened Camp Crame flag-raising and flag-lowering ceremonies ordered by PNP chief General Rommel Marbil which should also benefit thousands of security guards going to the national headquarters every week to apply for or renew their licenses.

Many top PNP officials may have not noticed it but before the start of the Camp Crame flag-raising, dozens of people, majority of them private security guards in complete uniform, could be seen outside the camp’s Gate 1 in EDSA lining-up to get their turn to be inspected by base policemen and allowed eventual entry.

A PNP officer told me this: Sir, mga aplikante ng CSG at HPG ang aga-aga nasa Crame na. Yung applicants nakapila. Pati security guards nasa labas nagbibihis at nagta-tuck in duon sa gilid ng EDSA kaya makikita mo, nakikita na ang brief nila at nakikita ng mga dumadaan na mga tao at mga nasa sasakyan. Sabi ko nga, bakit hindi na lang sa loob ng Crame papilahin at dun na magbihis.”

That valid observation from an officer I believe should be strongly considered by Gen. Marbil who has clearly pointed it out that he wants their clientele to really feel what police service is exactly at 8 in the morning, Monday to Friday, with people from all walks of live getting the same service from the force.

During the previous Duterte administration, I have already told some PNP Civil Security Group officials about the sad plight of security guards going to their One-Stop Shop (OSS) during weekdays.

These guards are forced to skip their duties — without pay of course — to renew their licenses or get a new one. Worst, they have to endure their hunger and thirst and the scorching heat of the sun while waiting for their queue. It would be heaven if a guard gets his papers done in an hour or two.

During the term of a former PNP-CSG director during the middle term of FPRRD, I even asked some friends to donate water dispensers to the One-Stop Shop where the applicant-guards can get free drinking water after observing first-hand the guards’ condition, with all of them heavily perspiring, looking like survivors of a plane crash in a desert looking for water to quench their thirst.

Those equipment were donated without the knowledge of that official and I hope that those water dispensers are still there particularly this very hot summer which is dangerous to all.

It the PNP has its Stakeholders’ Lounge, actually an air-conditioned room for retired PNP personnel and other VIPs renewing their LTOFP and other gun papers at the OSS, I think it is also time for the new PNP leadership to also consider having a similar place for security guards and other poor Filipinos seeking permits in the same building amid the very dangerous heat index.

At present, the gym-like 3rd floor of the OSS is an oven-hot area where security guards are made to wait for their turn to be served. People will suffer from heat exhaustion in that place if they are made to wait for a very long time. The place actually houses the air-conditioned offices of the Firearms and Explosives Office director and the National Police Clearance.

Being a major ‘force multiplier’ of the PNP when it comes to keeping peace and order in the country, our security guards must be given by the PNP the same treatment they are giving to those allowed entry to the Stakeholders’ Lounge as they take their drug or a neuro-psychiatric test and fill-up different forms to get their LTOFP and Firearm Registration.

Just send a ‘mystery client’ to see the different treatment a retired officer, a government official, a wealthy businessman or a celebrity are getting at the OSS compared to our poor guards.

As I have said in a previous column, our cops have welcomed changes in their flag-raising and flag-retreat ceremonies as ordered by Gen. Marbil. Very long and boring ceremonies, meetings and conferences actually is a bane, not a boon in the government which must be stopped.

Why spend precious government time on matters that won’t be beneficial or helpful to majority but only to a few. Just look at the yawning, tired sea of people in a very long flag-raising or lowering rite. I’m also caring for the hundreds of ‘paraders’ in PNP events who are made to stand up in attention for hours under the heat of the sun.