By Cecille Suerte Felipe, February 22 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos stand to benefit two-fold from a new law that provides for rank classification in the Philippine National Police (PNP), which eliminates confusion on how law enforcers must be addressed and brings the police closer to the people, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said yesterday.

President Duterte signed Republic Act 11200, which standardizes the way PNP officers are called, into law last Feb. 8.

“More importantly, this allows for better coordination between the PNP and other law enforcement units in countering terrorism and other threats to national security,” said Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001.

“The PNP shall continue to adopt a service-oriented outlook in consonance with its existing police-community relations doctrine consistent with its sworn duty ‘To Serve and Protect,’” he said.

The PNP welcomed the signing into law of a bill which modifies the rank classification of police officers.

PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said the new law clarifies the command and responsibility in the police force for effective and efficient supervision and control among its uniformed personnel.

“The rank classification will contribute to more performance output and productivity from the police for having high morale as they will be called again the way they were addressed before,” he said in a statement.

Under the new law, the PNP’s rank classification system will be distinct from that of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, with ranks used in addressing PNP personnel preceded by the word “Police.” The PNP rank classification shall be as follows:

• Director-General to Police General

• Deputy Director-General to Police Lieutenant General

• Director to Police Major General

• Chief Superintendent to Police Brigadier General

• Senior Superintendent to Police Colonel

• Superintendent to Police Lieutenant Colonel

• Chief Inspector to Police Major

• Senior Inspector to Police Captain

• Inspector to Police Lieutenant

• SPO4 to Police Executive Master Sergeant

• SPO3 to Police Chief Master Sergeant

• SPO2 to Police Senior Master Sergeant

• SPO1 to Police Master Sergeant

• PO3 to Police Staff Sergeant

• PO2 to Police Corporal

• PO1 to Patrolman/Patrolwoman

Lacson said the rank classification system should remove confusion on how to address police officers, noting that people still tend to address them by their military rank assignments.

“It has been nearly 30 years since the passage of Republic Act 6975, yet almost everyone has been more accustomed to the rank classification using military terminologies but are aware that they are referring to the police and not the military,” he said.

Also, Lacson said similar ranks between the PNP and counterpart members of the AFP will enhance their interoperability.

He cited experiences of policemen and soldiers showing “unnecessary lags” when they have to check who are their counterparts.

Lacson said the new rank classification would also spare policemen of having to explain their equivalent ranks to foreign police forces during regional or international policing engagements. – With Emmanuel Tupas, Jaime Laude