Western Visayas cops deployed to fight insurgency

The regional chaplain of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 blesses the police officers who will be deployed for the Revitalized-Pulis Sa Barangay (R-PSB) program. (RPIO/PRO-6 photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 deployed hundreds of policemen to various barangays in Western Visayas during a send-off ceremony on Friday, May 31, at PRO-6 headquarters in Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City.

The deployment is part of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Revitalized-Pulis Sa Barangay (R-PSB) program, which was also launched at the event.

Major General Bernard Banac, director of the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations, served as the guest of honor and speaker.

“The R-PSB is done in support of the policy direction of our government in ending the local armed conflict,” Banac said.

The PNP implemented the program to sustain the gains of the Community Support Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Retooled Community Support Program of local government units.

The initiative aims to prevent the resurgence of insurgency, protect unaffected communities from the recovery efforts of the Communist Terrorist Group, and assist communities in addressing their concerns and accessing basic government services.

Participants were selected from the Regional, Provincial, and City Mobile Forces based on their abilities and capabilities in fostering better community relations, enabling mutual trust and cooperation.

The R-PSB Team will be deployed in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) and select urban barangays to assist the community and facilitate access to essential government services.

In Western Visayas, at least 17 barangays have been identified for the R-PSB deployment: three barangays in Tapaz, Capiz; two in Iloilo City; and four in Bacolod City. Additionally, there is one barangay each in Libacao, Aklan; Sibalom, Antique; Maasin, Tubungan, Lambunao, and Igbaras in Iloilo province; and Cadiz and Kabankalan in Negros Occidental.

“We want to engage with the community directly,” Banac said, emphasizing that the police will serve as facilitators and mentors in delivering services to the public, ensuring that the community feels and knows that the government cares for them.

Banac added that the police will work in partnership and support with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the Philippine Army.

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