Name of the Organization
Philippine National Police
Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry
Manila Police District Mobile Force Battalion
Focus Area of the Best Practice
Operations, Basic Services
Date the best practice was first implemented
24 October 2018 – up to present
Summary of the Best Practice
In their bid to reduce the crime rate and illegal activities in their jurisdiction, the Manila Police District (MPD) has been implementing the MPD Mobile Library project, Ang Guro Kong Pulis. The project aims to provide basic social welfare services through non-formal education to Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), street children, and indigent minors. Since its implementation, the project has received much recognition and has been replicated in many areas.
Background of the Problem
Prior to the implementation of the project, MPD has seen through its regular patrolling and personal experiences that many street children and CICL are begging, doing unsolicited car washing, serving as illegitimate parking attendants, and illegally vending along the areas of Roxas Boulevard, Malate, and Ermita. Meanwhile, they have also used the areas of Taft Avenue and Baywalk as areas to converge, sleep, and do other types of illegal activities. Their presence in these areas can be attributed to a lack of an effective strategy from the local government unit (LGU) and the MPD.
And although the LGU in tandem with MPD have already been conducting regular rescue programs for street dwellers across the entire City of Manila, their effort has not been enough as the rescued street dwellers would return to those areas after they were released from LGU Rescue Center. After all, the Rescue Center cannot accommodate all of the rescued individuals due to a lack of manpower, the burden of such logistics, and the lack of other resources required.
During dialogues with members of CICL and through our investigations, we found out that a majority of our target audience are also “solvent users” or are inhaling illegal chemical substances, engaged in gang rivalry—and potentially violence, robbery, and the women, in particular, have also been engaged in prostitution.
Solution and Impact
To reduce the crime rate, the MPD Mobile Library Ang Guro Kong Pulis project was established on 24 October 2018. It hoped to achieve its objective by providing basic social welfare services through non-formal education to CICL, street children, and disadvantaged minors.
Before implementation, MPD conducted an area study and a survey of affected CICL and non-affected street children to identify their needs. They devised a plan in collaboration with higher education institutions and government agencies.
For the project’s actual roll-out, the unit’s issued troop carrier vehicle was converted into a mobile library outfitted with detachable bookshelves. As time progressed, an LED TV, a laptop, and some rechargeable speakers were added to the mobile library to make the learning activity more interactive.
The project is implemented every Wednesday and Friday along Malate Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard, Luneta Park, and the Ermita area. Every day, they could accommodate about one hundred fifty (150) beneficiaries who belong to the poorest of the poor. Beneficiaries ranged from 5-year-olds to 19-year-olds.
Aside from the regular police teachers, there have also been volunteer students, teachers from private schools, and private individuals who have provided teaching services. NGOs have also provided sponsorships such as medical, dental, feeding, and outreach activities. The project has also received donations such as LED TVs, toys, sports supplies, school supplies, and groceries, all of which have been used to supplement their services.
Overall, the MPD has considered the project a success since its commencement. It has been so successful that—although sessions are only held twice a week, they have considered conducting more frequent sessions as they have seen demand from the students. Moreover, students of the project and their parents have also expressed that this is a rare opportunity where they felt the support of the LGU, and they were incredibly grateful for the basic services and donations are given through the mobile library. Likewise, this uplifted morale has led MPD to consider the presence of police teachers an effective tool in crime prevention.
Because of its proven success, the project has also engaged in a replication process that inspires other groups to do the same. Notable examples include the Alegado Foundation based in the United States, The Philippine National Police-Special Action Force-Special Action Companies (PNP-SAF-SAC) 55, SAC 61, The Philippine Army 68 IB, and The Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 in the areas Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Negros Oriental, and with PNP Region 10 in areas such as Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Cagayan de Oro. Notably, the project was replicated by PNP Region 10 to see its effectiveness in countering local armed conflict.
In replicating the project in other areas, most PNP units adopted the same concept: their issued mobile vehicles were also converted into rolling libraries. On the other hand, the Philippine Army and Philippine Navy converted their large vehicles into mobile libraries. Crucially, in Mindanao, the PNP SAF, Philippine Army, and Philippine Marines rolled out their projects in far-flung areas, in the homes of ethnic people, and areas of local armed conflict.
Over time, the MPD has also adopted the project as part of its service of providing non-formal education. It also serves as a pipeline for students to eventually enroll in formal education under the Alternative Learning System established in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) Manila. In June 2019, the MPD Alternative Learning System was launched, and it started with 40 students from former students, other less fortunate constituents, and CICL.
The project received recognition from the National Capital Region Police Office’s (NCRPO) Press Club 3rd Anniversary Special Awards for Innovative Programs. It was awarded by none less than the NCRPO Regional Director PDIR Guillermo L Eleazar. The project’s representative was also invited as a Guest of Honor and Speaker and to be the recipient of recognition from the University of Santo Tomas Volunteers for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). And also, during the celebration of Manila Police District 2019 Culmination of Police Community Relation Month, Police Brigadier General (PBGEN) Vicente D Danao Jr bestowed the program as Best Practice of the Year. Likewise, it was also recognized by the NCRPO as the 2019 Best Practice of the Year.