LINGAYEN—Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. said that with the swearing in of more Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATS) in the various municipalities of the province, the Peace and Order program of the provincial government which is a priority program of his administration will be further strengthened.
Just recently, some 3397 members from 328 barangays in various parts of the province took their oath as members of this organization of citizen volunteers or regular barangay tanods.
The oath taking of BPATS members were held in the towns of San Jacinto, Manaoag, Mapandan, San Fabian, Binmaley, Calasiao, Mangaldan, Sta. Barbara, Dagupan City, Bugallon, Aguilar, Laoac and Binalonan.
While the other groups already took their oath last year, PNP issued a new schedule of recognition and oath-takings of 3855 members from 379 barangays in 12 municipalities this month. The province has a total of 13,640 members coming from more than 1,300 barangays .
The members of this organization will act as anchors in peacekeeping operations at the grassroots level and will serve as the PNP’s partners in crime prevention and crime solution.
The formation of the peacekeeping teams in every barangay which was launched last year with Local Government Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno keynoting the event is part of the 10-year Philippine National Police Integrated Transformation Program considered as the PNP’s roadmap to win public trust and confidence.
Also, the BPATS members were also awarded with their Identification cards and PhilHealth Insurance policy headed by 2nd District Board Member Amadeo T. Espino.
As additional force multipliers in the province, BPATS will serve as the community’s watchdogs but they will only be equipped with handheld radios instead of firearms.
Gov. Espino disclosed that the provincial government has also launched last year a similar program on peace and order called the Crime Watch where the province forged a partnership with the PNP and the Pangasinan Bikers Federation.
The program, he said, aimed to fight all forms of criminality, insurgency and terrorism. (PIO/Darwin Magalong)