(Updated) Valencia police lament LGU ‘lack of fuel support’

VALENCIA CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/29 November) The Valencia City Police Station is facing a problem with lack of fuel citing it has affected their promptness to respond to incidents,

P/Supt. Narciso Domingo Jr, ValenciaCitypolice chief, said during the 112th regular session of the city council that they target to respond to incidents within 7 to 10 minutes.

But there are instances when it will be delayed, he added, citing other incidents in other barangays and lack of fuel.

Usahay I admit mangita pa og asa maka lambing og gas,” (Sometimes we have to look where we can ask for gas) he added in his response to a query by City Councilor Arlyn Ayon. 

The city council called for Domingo to the session on November 26 to report on the peace and order situation in the city after many incidents concerning public safety, and added that the patrol cars have now the new Blackbox My Car dash cameras to maintain evidence of every running down the street.

“Mobile patrols are directly proportionate on the availability of fuels of the patrol cars,” he added citing that they receive 20 liters of fuel per vehicle. The supply is good for three days and.

Domingo cited resolutions the city council passed earlier to support local police such as the resolution appropriating certain percentage of revenues from police clearance, blotter extract, and traffic citations to the police station.

He cited that the Sanggunian also approved a resolution appropriating P400, 000 to P500,000 annually to augment VCPS’ capacity to fight criminality.

“But (it) is still not implemented until now,” he added.

Domingo said despite limited personnel “they are doing everything in their capacity to make up to this problem”.

He said they receive only P5,000 a month from the PNP, which they use to supplement the support from the city government.

The police chief then asked the city council to separate the VCPS’ fuel support from the City Mayor’s Office.

He added that their fuel support is dragged whenever the city government is unable to pay its fuel supplier, a case that has allegedly happened for the past months.

Vice Mayor Azucena Huervas asked Domingo if they were able to use the P500, 000, which the city council allocated for fuel and lubricant support to city police, which Domingo said was only P400, 000 in his power point presentation.

“We still receive support from LGU although my concern is that the allocation will depend on the signatory who is the City Mayor,” Domingo said.

The fuel budget is allocated for but is not managed by the city police, he added.

Domingo cited that they followed up with the budget and accounting offices but were told only an executive order can cause the release of the funds.

Police S/Supt. Orlando Beñas, Bukidnon police director, who also attended the session, said he already dispatched a Special Operations Group in Valencia City to help curb criminality.

Beñas said he has toured around the province to “overhaul the police mind and discipline the personnel. “

But he stressed the role of the local government unit in the police’s work.

“Diri sa Valencia sa gasolina nag lantogi na ta?” (Here, fuel is already a problem) he said.

He cited that in his previous assignment in Lanao, criminality has “drastically gone down” because they are fully supported by the Lanao LGU. He boasted that they had a helicopter at their disposal.

Aristotle Collado, Valencia City public information officer, admitted to Bukidnon News.Net via telephone the problem of lack of fuel.

“It is not just the PNP (VCPS) that has a lack of fuel supply, it is the whole LGU since the amount allocated for fuel is already consumed,” he added.

The local government unit, he said, is yet to pay for the third quarter for fuel supply.

But he clarified that the LGU’s fuel support is only to augment the police’s fuel budget as they have their own funds from the PNP. He said he will look into the P500,000 support, if it was included in the APP (annual procurement plan).

He cited that Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata has supported the local police.

The VCPS, he added, had received 20 each of M49 rifles, automatic shotguns, and.45 caliber pistols from the City Peace and Order Council’s fund.

He said there is a proposed supplemental budget before the city council. If it is passed, he added, the police may be able to get its share.

He added that like an ordinance, an executive order usually takes a “lot of time” to be implemented.

Meanwhile, in his crime statistics report, Domingo showed that the city’s crime volume from January to August 2012 is lower than the figures in the same period in 2010 and 2011.

He cited decreases in the incidents of car theft, cattle rustling, murder, and homicide but the figures for physical injury, rape, and robbery increased.

He showed that so far the local police was able to arrest two car theft suspects and recovered 10 motorcycles reported stolen. They also recovered 19 loose firearms, arrested 10 robbery suspects, 22 murder suspects, 14 theft suspects, and seven rape suspects.

He vowed that with better support, the criminality will be minimized. (Daniel Mental/BukidnonNews.Net)