MANILA – The bill institutionalizing new organizational reforms in the Philippine National Police (PNP) is one step closer to becoming a law after it was unanimously approved by the Senate on Monday.

Voting 23 in favor, zero against and zero abstentions, the chamber passed Senate Bill (SB) 2449, which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 and RA 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a former PNP chief and the sponsor of the bill, thanked his colleagues and those who have helped in crafting the measure.

“After all these years, finally, the PNP organizational reforms we sought to introduce are being materialized. They are beginning to see the light of day. I hope we can all welcome that day together when this measure is passed into law soon enough,” dela Rosa said.

“Moving forward, I have more reason to hope, Mr. President. May this be the year that they receive in their honorable institution the legislated reforms they so rightfully deserve,” he added.

SB 2449 shall institutionalize the offices created by the National Police Commission which are the PNP Directorial Staff, Area Police Command, Special Offices, and “strengthened” National Administrative and Operational Support Units.

It also seeks to transfer the power to designate chiefs of police from mayors and governors to the PNP chief.

To elevate the status and treatment of the PNP Academy, SB 2449 shall accord cadets the prestigious title of Police cadets, endowed with salaries, benefits, and emoluments commensurate with police executive master sergeant.

Like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the compulsory age of retirement for the PNP will be set to 57 years old, which ensures uniformity in the rules that govern uniformed presonnel.

Another proposed reform under SB 2449 is giving authority to the PNP chief to immediately order the preventive confinement of erring police personnel, which shall foster better discipline and responsibility within the organization. (PNA)