Senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s first order of business for 2023 was to pledge continued support to helping improve key facilities of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), which are located in his home city of Taguig.
In his speech to PNP-SAF officials and staff during their thanksgiving dinner on New Year’s Day, Cayetano said this is in order to enhance the organization’s ability to maintain peace and order in the country and tackle insurgency and terrorism.
The veteran legislator, who has made it a tradition to celebrate the first day of the year with the PNP-SAF, said his visits to police camps in various areas in the country had highlighted the urgent need to upgrade the amenities and equipment of the PNP-SAF.
“Inikot ko po ang ilang mga kampo niyo sa Mindanao at sa Visayas, at nalaman ko na ang kampo na y’on ay literally an imaginary camp — ni walang fence, walang wall, walang structure. Katulad sa Bacolod, hiniram lang ‘yung lupa,” the seasoned lawmaker noted.
Addressing PNP-SAF Director General Police Brigadier General Edgar Okubo, the senator said he wants the transformation of the PNP-SAF amenities and equipment to be beneficial not only to the people but to the PNP itself.
“It will be a privilege to continue to help.”
“We are here to help you. So please, General, ‘wag po kayong mahihiya. Kung ano po ang maitutulong namin in our personal and official capacity para po lalong matingala kayo bilang mga ‘Tagaligtas’ sa buong bansa, please let us know and it will be a privilege to continue to help,” he said, referring to SAF’s one-word mission to save.
Cayetano said he is thankful for the opportunity to support the PNP-SAF in his capacity as senator by pushing for more funds in the national budget.
“I am very much honored and I thank God for the opportunity to be able to advocate for you, to play a small part na ‘yung mga facilities n’yo ay mapondohan at mapaganda, nasa administrasyon man ako o sa oposisyon,” he said.
In the 2023 National Budget, Cayetano backed the funding of P170 million for key facilities and equipment of the PNP-SAF in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Included in the approved budget are the construction of multipurpose buildings and site development for Phases 2 and 3 of the SAF Headquarters Building, each amounting to P75 million; the construction of a multipurpose building for P10 million; and the repair of SAF’s V-150 armored vehicle that costs P10 million.
Cayetano said the PNP-SAF can “pay back” the support simply by serving the country “as policemen and women, as faithful members of SAF”.
In his speech, he also urged the PNP-SAF to partner with him and City of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano in advocating for national transformation among the uniformed policemen starting in Camp Bagong Diwa, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, and jails.
“Let us be partners in national transformation.”
“Let us be partners in national transformation. Start within ourselves then we will go out with that. Iyan po ang panata namin [ni Mayor Lani] na maging partners in national transformation, even in the jails,” he said.
Cayetano also expressed gratitude to the SAF members who helped secure Fort Bonifacio in partnership with the local police during the holidays.
“This Christmas po, nagkaroon ng partnership ang SAF at Taguig police through augmenting our troops in Fort Bonifacio. At nakita niyo po, walang naging complaint so far,” he said.
“’Yung inyong tulong po ay very much appreciated. And hopefully po we can institutionalize that, in the same way that Lani is trying to institutionalize kung paano na yung mga programa ng Taguig ay pwedeng makinabanang ang lahat ng naka-assign at naka-headquarters dito,” Cayetano added.