RPOC passes resolution urging DILG, PNP to step up advocacy of BPAT
TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) passed a resolution urging the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to step up the advocacy of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) among local government officials in the region.
During the RPOC meeting last week, Northern Samar Governor Paul Daza, council chairman, said that Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) should tackle community-based police system in their meetings and map out strategies on how to advocate the program.
“We will let the PPOCs decide how to bring the program to the municipal and barangay level,” Daza said during the meeting.
Launched in 2009, BPAT aims to organize and mobilize various sectors of the community in support of the maintenance of peace and order and safety.
Other basic functions include conducting crisis management, disaster mitigation, and search, rescue, and relief operations within the community; strengthen and support the Barangay Justice System (Lupong Tagapamayapa); conduct crime prevention and deterrence measures to protect the vulnerable sectors of the community.
“Since this is a volunteer basis and no funding support from DILG and PNP, it’s up to the LGUs that it’s good to do and finance the training. In Northern Samar, only two towns are implementing it because of funding constraint,” Daza added.
In a presentation, PO3 Zenda Sudio, assistant public information officer of the police community relations, said the BPAT will converge all existing programs to strengthen forces against criminality.
“The barangay tanod was just limited to crime prevention but BPAT is also tasked to disaster response and environmental protection,” she added.
Sudio pointed out that while peacekeeping is the basic function of the police there’s still a need to share the responsibility to community members since enhance police visibility may not work in all situations.
The PNP admitted that only few LGUs are carrying out this initiative despite series of advocacies done by the police.
This program also aims to combat the New People’s Army barangay module being implemented by left-leaning groups in their community campaigns.
The rebels employ deception, using the community as their front for agitation and propaganda; utilize the organized sectors in launching mass actions or other social activities. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)
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