Dayanghirang sponsors measure institutionalizing revitalized Pulis sa Barangay Program

REPRESENTATIVE Nelson L. Dayanghirang of the First District of Davao Oriental sponsored House Bill (HB) No. 7886, a measure seeking to institutionalize the Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay (RPSB) Program, during the Committee on Local Government’s meeting on 28 November 2023.

The RPSB Program was conceptualized by Police Regional Office 11 (PRO-11) to address the insurgency problem in the country. It recognizes that the barangay, as the smallest political unit in the country, is the best partner to efficiently respond to various peace and order concerns given the fact that it is strategically situated at the grassroots level. The RPSB Program is focused on preventing Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTGs) from spreading their influence to unaffected barangay and facilitating the recovery of cleared barangays by strengthening Barangay-Based Institutions (BBIs) and Barangay Peacekeeping Institutions (BPKIs). 

HB No. 7886 seeks to formally establish the RPSB as a nationwide strategy through the creation of Barangay Police Units (BPU) that are organic to and integrated into the structure of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The BPU’s primary functions shall include the following: (i) dismantling of CTG-influenced People’s Organization; (ii) strengthening barangay-based institutions; (iii) establishing barangay-based peacekeeping institutions; and (iv) facilitating national government support. 

During his sponsorship speech, Rep. Dayanghirang shared that his experience as Chairman of Davao Region’s Regional Peace and Order Council showed him that the fight against local armed conflict and communist insurgency does not end with the achievement of peace. “Sustainability is also of equal importance to fully realize the fruits of all our efforts in fighting against communist insurgency,” Rep. Dayanghirang explained. 

Through the passage of this measure, Rep. Dayanghirang hopes that “all barangays in the country, including Communist Terrorist Groups-affected barangays, will be transformed into safe and conflict-resilient barangays; barangay-based institutions responsible for the delivery of basic services will be strengthened; and the implementation of various development projects will no longer be disrupted.” 

PLtGen. Filmore B. Escobal (Ret), Former Commander of Area Police Command – Eastern Mindanao, also advocated for the passage of HB No. 7886, arguing that a military-centric approach alone will not solve the insurgency problem because insurgency, at its core, is rooted in governance issues. RPSB is a human rights-based approach to counter insurgency because it is focused on strengthening barangay-based institutions and facilitating national government support. He also emphasized that the RPSB Program recognizes the barangay as the “very basic governance platform directly in contact with the people.” 

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