Sunday, August 16, 2015

Should the PNP Scrap the College Degree Requirement for Recruitment?

Yesterday, in Ramon Tulfo’s column “On Target” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 15, 2015), he again repeated his advocacy of allowing high school graduates to join the PNP.  What caught my attention this time is his line, “PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez and even Sen. Grace Poe who chaired the hearing on PNP modernization, think so.”  If this is true, then this is very alarming.

Tulfo’s main contention is that his program had lost count of the number of complaints lodged against abusive policemen while there were very few against members of the AFP.  So viola, since the AFP members are high school graduates and there are few complaints against them, then the PNP should follow suit and scrap the college degree requirement because it is the main cause why policemen are abusive!

This is a very serious fallacy…

To start with, it has to be borne in mind that the PNP is a frontline arm of the government that comes in contact with people daily.  As such, virtually all of its 160,000 personnel are public servants of the
government who personally attend to people daily and on face to face individual basis.  People come to the police for a myriad of reasons and even just by walking in the streets, now with General Marquez at the helm who is a prime advocate of police visibility, it is inevitable that in one way or the other, people encounters the police.  Compare this to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  How many of its 125,000 personnel (85k Army, 24K Navy, and 15K Air Force) attend to the needs of the people on a daily basis?  I need not belabor this point to see that by law of averages, it is but natural to expect that there will be more PNP personnel who will be in the spotlight compared to the AFP.

Contrary to the position of Ramon Tulfo, my advocacy is even the opposite:  we should maintain the college graduate requirement in the PNP and select the PNPA cadets from the pool of active PNP PNCOs.  This way, the youngest Police Inspector will be at least 24 years old.  This is because I believe that more than anything else, police work needs maturity and emotional stability that young people still lack.  With college graduates entering the Academy, the PNPA curriculum can even be redesigned so that it will focus on law and enable the graduates to take the bar!  This way, the PNP PCOs are not only ordinary policemen but they will also be lawyers!

Here are some situations where people call for the police:

Away ng mag asawa

Away ng magkapitbahay

Away ng mga bata. 

In these instances, who do you think will be the more effective person to represent authority?  A 17 year old high school graduate rookie, or a 30 year old college graduate rookie?

Here is another argument against the Tulfo advocacy:

Here are screen shots from the NYPD, LAPD, and the CHIPs websites:

Invariably, these police forces require a minimum age of 21 for police officers and at least 12 years of education with preference to college graduates and former military personnel.  12 years of education is equivalent to 2nd year college here in the Philippines before the K to 12 implementation.  Further, in LAPD, the high school requirement equivalent is a college degree from an overseas institution.

As things stand right now, the PNP has problems with young rookies who are already 21 years old and college graduates.  In many of the incidents, immaturity of the personnel concerned often plays a big role.  Can you imagine the problems that we will be facing once we reduce the entry age to 17 and the qualifications to high school graduate?

God help the Philippines!

(If you want me to present further ideas on this topic, just let me know through your comments. I will make another and more comprehensive article about this if many are interested.)


  1. We have now.this K12 and at 19 yrs old after their graduation They are good enough to join the police force or the military like in the USA

    1. ed, look at the screen shots above. the requirement if you are presenting a foreign credential is a baccalaureate degree...

  2. Pulis na Pogi, you might consider these: 1. Isn't it that most of the "quiters" in the PNP training are those licensed nurses, engineers and NCR boys? Imagine putting them as PO1 patrollers in the hot, smokey/smelly streets. Do you think they will swallow their pride/avoid self-pity just to perform their duty? 2. After college graduation, the best and the brightest are immediately hired by top-notch firms leaving behind the unemployables to the PNP. 3. The PNP may be able to recruit the poor but deserving 2nd year college students, who do not have yet too much pride and therefore very willing to patrol the streets. They will eventually finish college while in da service anyway, to keep up PNP professionalization.

    I like your idea though, of getting PNPA cadets from among the PNP PNCOs. That might resolve the biases of the conceited ramon tulfo hahaaha!

    1. i will make a full length article as a reply. salamat po!


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