BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Fuel, amid rising prices, is the number one headache for police stations in this highly-urbanized center amid a spate of murder cases here, a burden that the incoming Benitez administration would have to address soon as it takes over City Hall.
Re-elected Councilor Al Espino told DNX this is based on a wishlist given to them by local chief, Colonel Thomas Martir ahead of the assumption of Mayor-Elect Albee Benitez to office tomorrow, 30 June 2022.
The wishlist contains the supplies and equipment needed by the local police force to operate efficiently and fuel is an essential to keep police cars moving to make police visible to the public.
Espino said for fuel alone, the city would have to shell out at least P1 million a month.
The local police has 10 area stations identified by their numbers, 1 to 10, each covering a specific area.
Station 1 is at the downtown area near the public plaza while 10 is in Handumanan village.
There have been 13 shooting incidents in this Sugarlandia capital, as of the Monday interview with Espino, with nine of the victims killed, two of them children.
Espino added that the Bacolod City Police Office (BACPO) is under the Philippine National Police (PNP) that has a yearly allocated budget under their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) that includes gasoline expenses.
Espino said, however, the role of the Local Government Unit (LGU) is to supplement the MOOE for the police force to maximize its potential.
The current LGU allocation is “currently low” but P14 million worth of vehicles was given to the police force.
Espino said Mayor-elect Benitez expressed the possibility of granting the wishlist and may give P15 to P20 million pesos yearly to their supplementary budget.
The councilor is confident that the Benitez administration will take up thes concerns of the police and solutions will be offered in the first 100 days.