Police headquarters to hire private guards for own security
Will help free up policemen from duties where lesser trained personnel can perform
• By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
• Published: 15:53 January 11, 2014
Manila: The country’s private security sector will soon have a government agency as one of its clients, and one charged with keeping peace and order — the Philippines National Police (PNP).
The prospect of the country’s key service involved in security hiring an entity outside that of the government, was unthinkable years ago when the country had its hands full contending with issues concerning terrorism, but in the age when even an institution like the US government is outsourcing critical services like security, anything is possible.
“We will hire security guards with high calibre, competence and excellent service,” said Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, the PNP public information office director.
Sindac said the government would hire private security guards from agency that is known for “good standing service of excellence and professionalism,” including those who have experience in guarding foreign embassies and hotels.
Initially, Sindac said the PNP would hire guards for the main gates of the PNP main headquarters in Camp Crame in suburban Quezon City.
“The idea is behind hiring private security contractors is to free up our policemen from duties where lesser trained personnel can perform,” he said.
Aside from Sindac said the government stands to save money by jobbing out some of the tasks of policemen to private guards.
A police officer 1 is paid P18,000 (Dh1,478) to P20,000 plus allowances, benefits and service firearms. In comparison, an ordinary security guard is paid a monthly salary of P10,000 to P15,000.
“There is a clear savings, plus police officers can now perform tasks like patrolling the streets and investigate crimes, rather than be on sentinel duty,” Sindac said.
Government requirements for joining the police are more stringent than those for private guards. Policemen are required to have spent at least four years in college; private guards have no such qualifications.
Sindac said police officers freed up from guard duties could be deployed elsewhere, where they can perform higher level duties such as investigation and law enforcement.
Initially the PNP plans to hire 80 to 100 security guards to monitor and perform security at key areas of Camp Crame, which covers several hectares, but eventually other large police camps in the country will be turned over to private security guards.
However, critics questioned the wisdom of hiring private guards to perform tasks traditionally done by policemen.
“It’s like a guard dog with the size of a pit bull paying a smaller mutt to do its job,” said one observer.