MANILA - The Philippine National Police on Friday said it is recruiting more members of the elite Special Action Force, with the objective of creating 5 more battalions of the commando unit.
Rene Aspera, director of the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, said the police force is focusing on the recruitment of SAF members as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"For now, ang focus natin ay sa recruitment ng PO1 for our SAF personnel as pronounced by our president. Priority natin yan," Aspera said in an interview after the oath-taking and donning of ranks for technical officers under the 2017 lateral entry program at Camp Crame.
One battalion consists of around 400 SAF commandos.
"Ngayon ongoing na, 5 battalions is 2,000 individuals. Right now, we have 1,400 na on training. 500 pa ang ongoing ang processing," Aspera said.
"Punuin muna natin ang SAF, 5 battalions. Ongoing pa ang recruitment kaya naantala ang recruitment natin ng 10,000 PO1. Doon muna ipu-push," he added.
The PNP will also be filling up 5,000 slots for its attrition recruitment program, which is intended to replace the projected number of personnel who will be separated from the service due to retirement, resignation and dismissal from the service.
This is aside from the 10,000 newbie officers needed for the police force's regular recruitment.
"Projection natin... 5,000 yearly ang attrition quota natin. Mga natanggal, nagretire, so plus the additional 10,000 quota natin," the DPRM director said.
He added: "So mga 15,000 dapat ang marecruit natin na PO1. Basis natin is to catch up with 1:500 population ratio."
Aspera said they are hopeful to achieve the 1:500 police to population ratio by 2020.