Members of the Provincial and Municipal Peace and Order Councils (P/MPOC) of Zambales, together with their Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) Plan Technical Working Group convened on August 27-29, 2019 at the Vista Marina Hotel Subic Bay Freeport Zone for the Training Workshop on the Formulation of POPS Plan for 2020-2022. The said plan charts their respective administration’s three-year direction that will fill in the gaps on peace and order and public safety issues and challenges in their localities. Present in the three-day activity were DILG Zambales Provincial Director Armi V. Bactad, CESO V, PNP Provincial Director PCOL. Ponce Rogelio I. Peñones Jr., PDEA Provincial Officer Marie Fe F. Manto, representatives from Philippine Army 3rd Mechanized Battalion. Also in attendance were Hon. Luisito Marty, Hon. Preciliano Ruiz, Hon. Leo John Farrales, municipal mayors of LGUs of Sta. Cruz, San Antonio, and San Felipe, respectively.
The Peace and Order and Public Safety Plan for 2020-2022 aims to improve the quality of life in the province, wherein social protection initiatives are identified and prioritized based on the current peace and order and public safety situation, with the LGU’s mission and vision as the guiding light.
In her opening remarks, DILG Zambales Provincial Director Armi V. Bactad, CESO V, encouraged the LGU functionaries as well as the partner National Government Agencies to come up with workable and evidence-based proposals, which will be highly instrumental in addressing the peace and order and public safety problems in the province, and lay down the same for possible funding by the local governments.
LGOO VII Fortunato Abraham discussed the POPS Planning and facilitated the POPS Plan workshop aligned with the DILG Memorandum Circular 2015-128, which provides for the guidelines in the formulation of the plan.
To supplement the analysis of the overall peace and order and public safety situations in Zambales, PNP Provincial Director PCOL. Ponce Rogelio I. Peñones Jr. presented the statistics of crime-related incidents, as well as the activities incorporated in PNP’s Anti-illegal Drugs Campaign “Double Barrel” (Revised 2019). Moreover, CPT. Joderick Mangagom, Operations Officer of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion shared the highlights of Executive Order No. 70 and other peace and order matters classified under “conflict” area of concern. PDEA Provincial Officer Marie Fe F. Manto also provided the picture of overall drug-affectation in the province, as well as the steps needed to be undertaken by the barangays in achieving the goal of gearing towards a drug-free community.
To shed light on matters concerning the proper utilization of POPS funds, a meaningful discussion on the common findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) pertaining to the implementation of the POPS PPAs and the utilization of the Confidential Fund, were likewise presented by COA State Auditors, Mr. Redentor C. Ramirez and Mr. Valeriano E. Magamun.
The last day of the activity was graced by DILG Central Luzon Regional Director Julie J. Daquioag, Ph.D., CESO III, wherein she expressed her gratitude to all LGU participants, resource persons and DILG Zambales as the activity opened an opportunity for the LGUs to revisit the identified POPS issues and challenges, as well as the strategized policies, programs, projects, activities and services. She stressed that the said planning is vital and the commitment of each LGU is highly expected to not only craft the plan, but also to ensure its sound implementation towards a safe and peaceful Zambales.