To encourage responsible possession of firearms, the different police offices advised those who have not renewed their firearm licenses that they will not be issued a police clearance.
Baguio City Police Office Information Officer Virgilio Hidalgo said the measure is part of the “Oplan bilang boga” that the Philippine National Police is implementing, which aims to account the number of firearms, especially the unlicensed and those that have already expired.
He said the measure is the PNP’s way of deterring crimes and inculcating in the minds of the people responsible gun ownership.
He added the police is monitoring some private individuals and organizations, saying the operation is covered by guidelines which includes the continuous visits and sending of notices to the firearm holder with expired licenses.
Monitoring, he said, includes the acceptance and assessment of the weekly reports submitted which started in July and will continue as a regular program of the BCPO.
Oplan bilang boga, he explained is aimed at reducing the incidence of crimes involving the use of firearms.
He added as per guidelines on the possession of firearms, only the Firearms and Explosives Office is authorized to issue certifications including firearm verifications and the processing and issuance of applications for firearm possession permits.
Hidalgo said firearms issued by the local government units which are intended for personnel of the Philippine National Police should be accompanied by a deed of donation to the PNP to monitor its number.
Aside from assessment, he said they are also checking whether said holders of firearms are still residing in the address stated in their registration forms.
“Non-existent address and firearm licensee/holders should be reported with attached certification signed by a punong barangay,” he said.
S/Supt. Roberto Soriano, officer-in-charge of the BCPO said in a statement the police office is sustaining the drive against further proliferation of loose firearms.
He said the operation focuses on the continuous accounting of expired firearm licenses as well as unlicensed firearms and explosives in the city.
Aside from continuous accounting of expired firearm licenses and other firearm and explosive matters, he said the office is sustaining other programs in relation to the maintenance of peace and order.
“The police operations can truly educate gun holders because once their firearm license expires, the only consequence would be the confiscation of these,” he said.