The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) does not support Senate Bill 725, which seeks to create a National Police Clearance System, stressing that this might confuse the public.
“We also cited in our position paper the disadvantages in having two national clearance systems with [the] PNP and NBI because of the possibility of confusion later on that it could bring to the public,” Victor Lorenzo, officer-in-charge of NBI’s Office of the Assistant Director for Information and Communications Technology Service, told GMA News in an interview.
“What will happen if the records of the other system will indicate no criminal records while in our database with criminal [record]? Which will prevail? That’s one of the issues that we have raised,” Lorenzo said.
Although they appreciate the intent of the bill, Lorenzo said it is the legal mandate of the NBI to “maintain and be the central repository of all criminal and non-criminal records.”
“Adjunct to that function, is being the national clearing house for criminal records of the country,” he said.
Lorenzo said the NBI is mandated to create a modernized clearance and identification center, in compliance with Republic Act 10867 or the NBI Reorganization and Modernization Act.
“We have in our pipeline so many initiatives to modernize, to digitize, to make our clearance system more convenient to the public, more credible, and more [secure],” Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo also raised their suggestion for the PNP to join the initiative of the Department of Justice in developing the National Justice Information Service where they can access the database of different agencies under the umbrella of the DOJ.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who presided over the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs hearing on SB 725, said they will take note and consider the points raised by the NBI.
Dela Rosa said the committee might retain the NBI’s role as the sole national clearing house but they will still push to make the PNP clearance system national in scope.
Dela Rosa said they will respect RA 10867 as asserted by the NBI but they will not stop modernizing the PNP just because of a “plain turf war.”
“In the end the NBI and PNP, we are working in one government. We are catering [to] the same clientele, the Filipino people,” he said.
The Senate panel approved SB 725, the proposed Forensic DNA Database Act, and the Rank Classification and Organization of Key Positions in the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology at the committee level. Willie Casas