‘No need to increase intelligence fund’

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Friday, August 15, 2014

CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor Ramon Tabor is not convinced that increasing the budget for intelligence network fund is the primary solution to curb the surging crime rate in the city.

Tabor, committee chair on police, fire and public safety, believes the current P8 million intelligence budget for the network is enough to overcome the criminalities that plague the city.

"This is not [about] the intel fund. This is about the hands-on of the father of the city (Mayor Oscar Moreno) and the cooperation of the people," Tabor told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Friday afternoon.


Tabor added that the additional intelligence fund would not mean zero crime rate although it may help.

In Davao, Tabor cited, P200 million is allotted for their intelligence network but crimes are still haunting the city.

When a jewelry heist inside a mall happened in July, Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. and City Administrator Roy Raagas pinned the reduction of intelligence budget from P20 million to P8 million as one of the primary causes why the robbery successfully took place.

Tabor, however, said the lack of intelligence fund is not the main reason why it happened.

Councilor Roger Abaday, committee chair on public utilities and vice chair on police, fire and public security, meanwhile, said the additional budget, although not directly, will be a huge help to the peace and order situation here.

"[We need] additional funds for procurement of information and communication facilities, training for barangay police force and officials, etc. for law enforcement and security," Abaday told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro via text message.

Before the former mayor, Vicente Emano, left the City Hall in 2013, the intelligence funds in his leadership was P20 million.

City Information Officer Maricel Rivera, meanwhile, explained how the budget would help the intelligence network.

"Our moral support for the police is never enough. If they [police] need more fire arms, what do we say? 'Just use clubs?'" Rivera lamented in a previous interview.

Although the Philippine National Police (PNP) has allotted budget for the city police, Rivera added this is not sufficient to the needs of the city's security.

In the 2014 Executive Budget approved in February, the City Council slashed the fund down from Mayor Moreno's proposed P2.6 billion down to P2.3 billion.

The reduction of the Executive Budget had also affected the operations and services of the City Government.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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