MANILA, Philippines - The crime rate has gone up on Metro Manila in recent months, police said Wednesday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo said there was indeed a crime rate increase in the metropolis but nationally, it was lower by 23% compared to the last year in the same period.
He did not give the exact figures on the latest crime data in the country.
The crime rate rise has prompted House minority leader Rep. Danilo Suarez and Rep. Mitos Magsaysay to urge the Aquino administration to address the problem.
They also cited the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
They claimed that the illegal drug trade is worth P219 billion annually. It allegedly dwarfs the proposed budgets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (P755 million), PNP (P1.3 billion) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (P101 million).
They asked how authorities can fight the illegal drug trade when most of their budget goes to the payroll of employees.
Suarez and Magsaysay also said that one of the biggest challenges that new Interior Secretary Mar Roxas faces is rising criminality in the country.
They said Roxas also has to stop corrupt practices within the PNP and cleanse the police force of scalawags. - reports from Jay Ruiz and Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News