Selecting police chiefs / ‘Bumbays’ and ‘5-6’

>> Sunday, January 22, 2017

Alfred P. Dizon
BAGUIO CITY -- Now that President Rodrigo R. Duterte formally appointed Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan as chairman of Cordillera regional peace and order council in Cordillera for three years, the mayor can now push Malacanang and Philippine National Police to make local governments have more hand in appointment of provincial, municipal and regional chiefs of police.
The RPOC was organized pursuant to Executive Order No. 775, series of 2009 to serve as the region’s policy-making body relative to peace and order.
Domogan’s appointment was recently delivered to him by engineer Marlo Iringan, Cordillera Interior director. The mayor said he will present to the RPOC alleged circumvention by the PNP of law on assignment of officers-in-charge to sensitive positions without consultation with local chief executives like mayors empowered to choose chiefs of police in towns or cities.
According to Domogan, the PNP law is clear an assigned officer-in-charge of a police station is only allowed to stay in his post maximum period of 30 days. The PNP, he added, is mandated to submit list of qualified police officers to concerned local chief executive from which permanent chief of police will be chosen.
A city hall report said Domogan was disappointed over sudden relief of several senior police officers here selected by local screening committee for city police chief without proper consultation with him.
He added this was not in accordance with sound governance, thus the need for a regional policy to prevent similar instances.
The first RPOC-CAR meeting this term will be hosted by Ifugao first quarter this year. He urged concerned Cordillera local chief executives like governors and mayors to attend said meeting to establish momentum for the body.
“We express our gratitude to the President (Duterte) and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno for their trust and confidence to our ability to lead the RPOC-Cordillera Administrative Region. We look forward to harmonious working relationship with officials of member agencies for us to craft up-to-date peace and order policies in the region,” Domogan said.
He said there will be no significant policy changes for RPOC while he is reviewing those that will be retained and policies that need to be updated, improved or overhauled to conform with regional situation. According to him, important issue that will be addressed is existence of marijuana plantations in the Cordillera despite numerous eradication operations. He added no cultivators were apprehended and jailed for propagating the illegal hemp in remote areas.
Even here in the summer capital, Indian nationals lending money under the so-called ‘5-6’ system are apprehensive after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said they can be arrested even without warrant of arrest.
The pronouncement came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered arrest and deportation of foreigners engaged in the ‘5-6’ lending scheme in the Philippines.
Aguirre said the 20-percent monthly interest to those who loan money is no longer an acceptable practice. “They are operating without any permit or license,” Aguirre said. “They could be arrested without any warrant because when they are doing that, they are committing a crime.” 
Several Indian nationals have aired their wish to have a dialogue with President Duterte following his order to deport those venturing into “5-6” money lending scheme in the Philippines.
An Indian national who identified himself as “Rancho” said they do not harass their lendees, which is in contrary to people’s perception.
“Halos lahat ng Indian papautang sila 1 buwan at kalahati, dalawang buwan hanggang tatlong buwan, 20 percent. Tapos halimbawa walang hulog, sabihin nila ‘bukas na. Sa susunod na araw na lang.’ Walang magawa bumbay,” Rancho said.
(Almost all Indian nationals lend money over one and a half months, two months up to three months at 20 percent. In case a lendee cannot pay, and says, ‘I’ll pay tomorrow’, there’s nothing we can do.)
Rancho said that even though their lending scheme is considered illegal, they are ready to have a dialogue with President Duterte if necessary.
“Siguro naman maraming mga alternative na pwedeng gawin. Halimbawa, bigyan niyo ng license. Hindi lahat ng bumbay dito legal. Maraming illegal dito. Merong mga walang papel, kaya hindi dapat damay lahat,” added Rancho.
(Perhaps there are many alternatives. For example, give license. However, not all Indian nationals here are legal. Many are illegal, with no papers. Not everyone must suffer.)
Despite bigger interest, like in Baguio, some Filipinos prefer borrowing money from Indian nationals because there is not much process or requirements in borrowing nor is there collateral unlike those required by  big loan companies or banks.
Such is the case of some vendors and business owners like those here in  central business district. A market vendor, with 300 pesos income from her sales, sets aside 100 pesos per day for her loan.
For P2,000 borrowed, she may pay for it within 40 days with a P400 interest. There are many requisites if you borrow from banks, lending institutions or even from Filipino loan sharks. You borrow money, you get investigated whether you have collateral, she says.
According to some borrowers here, some Indian nationals in the business have lowered interest rates to as much as 15 to 10 percent as some locals are now competing by offering lower rates.
They said one or two bumbays have been abusive in collecting money in the past are not being seen anymore but most Indian lenders are actually kind.   
Based on data of Philippine Statistics Authority last 2010, India is the fourth country with the biggest number of citizens in the Philippines.

This excludes the number of Indian nationals without legal papers that reside in the country. 


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