Iloilo City’s growth spurs need for more police stations

Brigadier General Jack Wanky (seated center) signs the guest book during his command visit to the Iloilo City Police Office on April 15, 2024. Looking on are ICPO officials led by Col. Joeresty Coronica. (Jennifer P. Rendon photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

With Iloilo City’s burgeoning business sector and expanding population, Brigadier General Jack Wanky, Western Visayas police chief, emphasized the critical need to reinforce law enforcement infrastructures.

Wanky unveiled proposals to expand the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) with additional stations during his inaugural visit on April 15.

Currently, Iloilo City has six police stations located in City Proper (Iloilo City Police Station 1); La Paz (ICPS2); Jaro (ICPS3); Molo (ICPS4); Mandurriao (ICPS5); and Arevalo (ICPS6).

Wanky, who used to be the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director, pointed out that Bacolod City has 10 police stations.

Iloilo City has a land area of 78.34 square kilometers while Bacolod City covers 160.71 square kilometers, excluding straits and bodies of water.

But it is worth noting that Iloilo City serves as the regional hub and is considered the center of economy, education, trade and commerce, and arts and culture in Western Visayas.

Wanky said they’re currently studying how to implement the plan of adding more police stations in the area.

The plan, which has been under consideration for several years, gained traction last year with the ICPO proposing four new stations in strategic districts.

But for it to be realized, the availability of funds and the approval from the higher headquarters should be considered.

Under the plan, these police stations will be constructed in Lapuz district; La Paz district; Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao; and at the City Proper district near the Iloilo City Hall.

Funding and high command approval remain pivotal for realizing these stations, some of which may integrate into the city’s I-Care Centers.

Notably, none of the six existing stations meet the standard type B building specifications.

Furthermore, staffing these new outposts with adequate personnel, estimated at about 80 per station, along with ensuring sufficient operational funds, is essential.

Despite previous initiatives stalling due to Iloilo City’s reported 2020 population of 457,626, the ICPO argues for considering the daytime population, which swells to over a million.

“The influx of business and daytime populations should be factored in,” Wanky asserted, committing to advocate for the necessary expansions at ICPO.