Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde led Monday the presentation and blessing of the P694-million worth of newly-acquired police equipment that are expected to fortify the operational capability of the 192,000-strong police force and the ceremonial turnover of forensic kits from the Korean government.
According to Albayalde, the National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee (NHQ BAC) headed by Deputy Director General Archie Gamboa successfully procured assorted firepower mobility and force protection equipment with a total contract price of P694,908,780.
Among the purchased equipment were 11,245 units of Undershirt bullet proof vest level IIIA; 4,169 units of waistcoat vest level IIA with tow plates level IV; 133 units of high frequency/single sideband manpack; 700 units of rotary blade/propelled wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drones; 20 units of mini bus and 2,000 units of Taurus TS9 striker fired pistol.
The blessing of the said equipment procured under the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) funds for 2017 and 2018 were held at the PNP NHQ in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“The acquisition of the basic equipment intensifies the operational readiness and police visibility of the PNP towards achieving a more capable, effective and credible police force in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to accomplish the mission and functions of the organization,” Albayalde said.
According to the PNP Chief, the bullet proof vest will be distributed to the Police Regional Offices (PROs) and National Support Units (NSUs) across the country for their capability enhancement on internal security operations’ equipage.
Meanwhile, the pistols will be given to the PNP recruits while the PROs and Logistics Support Service (LSS) will receive the mini buses for general dispatch purposes.
“The said newly-procured items will strengthen the fulfillment of duty of the PNP personnel in maintaining the peace and order in the communities through the conduct of anti-criminality police operations especially in the fight against illegal drugs and terrorism,” Albayalde noted.
The PNP Chief also expressed gratitude to the Korean government after he personally received 120 units of forensic kits during the traditional flag-raising ceremony on Monday.
The forensic kits were handed to Albayalde by Director General Park Hwa Jin of the Foreign Affairs Bureau, Korean National Police; and H.E. Dong-Man Han, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines.
Albayalde said the forensic kits will be of great help to the scientific investigation and scene of the crime operations of the PNP.
The kits will be distributed to the Crime Laboratory at the PNP NHQ as well as to the district and regional offices, Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC), and Korean Help Desks.
The donation of the forensic kits formed part of the Korean government’s project entitled “Enhancing the Criminal Investigation Capability of the Philippine National Police” through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
The project aims to “promote a safer and more secured environment conducive to national development by improving the criminal investigation and security management of the police force” in the Philippines.
Albayalde said the project was initiated upon the “Exchange of Note Verbale” between the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
After the exchange of verbal note, the KOICA then granted a donation to the PNP worth US$6.6 million through the signing of the Records of Discussion by the Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The implementation of the project includes the provision of equipment such as patrol cars, motorbikes and forensic kits.
On May 29, 2018, the Korean government turned over to the PNP 130 units of patrol cars consisting of 49 units of Hyundai Elantra and 81 units of Starex Van.