PPOC okays funding for election operations of local police, Army
posted 5-May-2019  ·  
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In a special meeting held last week, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) approved the request for funding support by the Catanduanes police and the Philippine Army contingent on the island for various operational activities in connection with the holding of the May 134, 2019 national elections.

The body chaired by Acting Governor Shirley Abundo directed the police headed by PNP provincial director P/Col. Paul Abay and the Army represented by Lt. William Hiponia, commander of the Alpha Company, 83rd  Infantry Brigade, and Capt. Alden Sedurifa, commander of the Echo Company, 22IB, to submit their respective work and financial plans for their priority programs so that the required materials and equipment could be procured in the soonest time possible.

Seeking the release of confidential funds, PD Abay told the body that the police has prepared a lot of activities geared towards the safe conduct of the elections, with “massive” operations set after the Holy Week together with the Army. He cited the conduct of COMELEC checkpoints and the grant of incentives for confidential informants and rental of safehouses in connection with the campaign against loose firearms.

On the other hand, Lt. Hiponia said his unit has no funds to pay for allowances of CAFGU volunteers who will render service outside their regular monthly duty, as the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) budget of the unit is only for clearing operations.

“It is our responsibility to feed the militia members as we are recalling them from their 15-day Rest-and-Recreation,” Capt. Sedurifa said, pointing out that they would have to provide fuel to be used in dispatching vehicles to various detachments. Cash incentives are also provided to members of the Barangay Intelligence Networks (BINs) who assist the Army in tracking the movement of armed groups.

He said that there are currently nine detachments of varying strengths in strategic areas where they can intercept the enemy in a defensive position. Each CAFGU member receives P4,500 allowance for each 20-day duty each month, with the other 10 days spent with their families.

While they used to have semi-automatic carbines, CAFGUs are now better armed with M-16 automatic rifles handed down by Army soldiers who have been outfitted with newer, more modern combat weapons.

Lt. Hiponia said the personnel of the Echo Company will be deployed at full strength 10 days before the elections to conduct surveillance and monitoring.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr. stressed that the three-year Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) Plan has already been approved in 2016, including the disbursement and utilization of the Confidential Fund, thus there is no need to authorize the governor to touch the funds for succeeding years.

For 2019, he disclosed, the amount of P42.5 million is available, with P12 million as CF and P1 million for general use. Under existing guidelines, the confidential fund is to be used for the purchase of information, rental of transportation and safe houses, payment of rewards to informers, missions to prevent illegal activities and other similar actions.

The council also approved the use of P200,000 already allocated to the Caritas Virac for the conduct of a voter education campaign and candidates’ forum throughout the 11 municipalities. About P70,000 will be used in the candidates forum featuring provincial candidates set this May 6, 2019 at Plaza Rizal, Virac.

Acting Gov. Abundo likewise sought the procurement of a K-9 dog and the services of a handler, following the request of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the establishment of an office for the Seaport and Airport Interdiction Task Force.

The Task Force will be composed of representatives from PDEA, MARINA, PPA, Philippine Coast Guard and K9 purposely for the suppression of drug proliferation and terrorism activities in the island.

The request was made by PDEA Bicol regional director Christian Frivaldo and assistant regional director Rogelito Daculla last week when they handed over to the acting governor the certificates attesting that seven barangays in Catanduanes are already “Drug-Cleared,”

Among those cleared are barangays Sagrada, Magsaysay and San Pedro in Viga town, and Si-ay, Solong, San Marcos and San Juan in San Miguel town.

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