Budget for Kidapawan police slashed due to IRA cut

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/01 June) —  At least 47 per cent of the city government’s annual aid to the local police has been slashed due to the reduction in the internal revenue allotment (IRA) and local taxes, the city mayor said.


The city’s aid to the Philippine National Police, mostly for fuel, is only P685,000 this year from last year’s P1.3 million, Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco said.


The city budget office said this year’s IRA is only P368M from last year’s P432 million. The city’s budget is P428 million while local income is expected to reach P60 million.


Gantuangco said the reduced aid should not hinder the police from doing their tasks.


“Aside from our aid, the local PNP is receiving funds from the national headquarters.   The reduction in the aid should also not become a reason for policemen to resort to receiving ‘tong’ from outlets of illegal numbers game,” the mayor said.


On Thursday, Kidapawan City police director, Supt. Renante Cabico, told members ofthe legislative council that the development in the city ‘does not go wellwith’ the ‘capacity’ of the police.


Cabico said the city, as the province’s capital, should be the ‘show window’ in terms of logistics, resources, and firepower.


The city is the commercial and trading center of six adjoining municipalities in North Cotabato.


At least 61 personnel from the local police are serving the city of 40 barangays and a population of 125,447.


“Yet, the city police lacks logistics, including radio communications equipment, firearms, mobile patrol cars, and other gadgets necessary for urban combats,” Ramon Floresta, president of the Metro Kidapawan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., said.


Early in April, Floresta wrote the national police headquarters at Camp Crame seeking  logistical support to boost the morale of the local police.
“The city of Kidapawan is considered a business hub in North Cotabato.  As the city flourishes, there comes with it responsibility in keeping and maintaining the peace and order,” Floresta told Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome in his letter dated April 9.


He cited, in particular, the attack at the city jail on February 19 where three residents, including a Red Cross volunteer, were killed and 17 others were wounded when some 30 fully-armed men tried to rescue Datukan Samad, a.k.a. Lastikman, a notorious leader of a kidnap-for-ransom group operating in North Cotabato and neighboring provinces. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)