Community Policing | Answer to SDG 16

Byron Allatog • 17 September 2021

Community Policing: Answer to SDG 16

The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) recently celebrated its 55th Founding Anniversary last September 10 and now meeting its new challenge of a better normal.

CSOP or Community and Service Oriented Policing was established by the commission through NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 2015-342 with the main objective to empower the Philippine National Police (PNP) to perform its role as community and service-oriented agency through the adoption of the CSOP system involving the Local Government Unit (LGU), Community and the Police as mandated by law under RA 6975 and as amended by RA 8551. Constitutionally speaking, the law is well-aligned, a police force that is national in scope and civilian in character; maintained and administered by the NAPOLCOM.

CSOP as modern community policing approach in the Philippines is definitely on the right track but still filled with obstacles. Like in many other countries, police units are climbing the ladder in making best on their community policing to make it a priority to address or solve community issues and in turn preventing crimes. Scholars, academe and policing practitioners agree on the same thing, that this modern policing approach is one top of the line that established a common ground where empowerment, partnership and inclusivity work within the LGU, Police and Community to attain peace and security for sustainable development. CSOP is a whole-of-community approach that bolsters the United Nations’ SDG 16 for a peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. It provides access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, specially the PNP.

On the other hand, Executive Order 70 (EO 70) institutionalized the whole-of-nation approach to attain inclusive peace and development, aimed to end the fifty-year local communist armed conflict in the Philippines by adopting a national peace framework. EO 70 like the CSOP underscores the essence of participatory governance where community partnership or involvement is key factor in sustainable peace for development.

Both the CSOP and EO 70 reaffirmed the importance and effectiveness of a whole-of-community or whole-of-nation approach as opposed to purely law enforcement and military option in combating criminality and terrorism, respectively. Both reframed and refocus government approach by addressing the root causes of crimes and insurgency by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of the basic services and social development packages to the communities.

In conclusion, to attain a sustainable peace and security in the communities, CSOP needs to be recalibrated and reinforced by the PNP organization itself prior petitioning the support of the LGUs and the community. It must be enforce by heart and taught in police schools and the police academy judiciously and at well-balance, and not just written on paper. The findings of Ronald U. Mendoza, et. al (ASOG Working Paper 20-005), “the formal organizational culture on paper appears sound; yet parts of it may be too rigid and may have failed to adapt in pace with the challenges faced by the PNP and its officers”.

Not until we totally understand and agree on the concept, we will remain fighting on the frontlines on criminality and terrorism alone and SDG 16 ellusive.