GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Police authorities in Region 12 have intensified efforts to properly account for around 28,000 unlicensed firearms in parts of the region.
Supt. Roldan Daniel, chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12’s Regional Civil Security Unit (RCSU), said Monday these firearms are mainly those with expired or non-renewed permits and with no License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) issued to their owners.
He said their records showed that there are more than 32,000 firearms previously registered in the region but only around 4,000 are covered by LTOPFs.
The figure does not include firearms carried by criminal elements and those issued to police and military personnel, he said.
“This is an alarming number but we’re continually working on the accounting and campaigning for the proper registration of these firearms,” he said in a radio interview.
The RCSU held on Monday a one-day “One-Stop Shop (Caravan) on the LTOPF and Firearms Registration” at the Sangguniang Panlungsod or city council session hall here.
The activity was intended for personnel and officials of local government offices in the city such as city councilors, barangay chairs and councilors, purok officials and civil security unit members, and other concerned gun owners who want to apply for LTOPF.
The caravan was joined by personnel from the PRO-12’s health service, which provided neuro psychiatric testing services, and the regional crime laboratory, which handled the drug tests.
Daniel said they launched the caravan to speed up the licensing process and encourage more gun owners to register their firearms.
He said the RCSU-12, which is under the supervision of the Philippine National Police’s Civil Security Group, is mandated to register firearms, explosives and private security businesses.
Citing the provisions of Republic Act 10591 and its implementing rules and regulations, all gun holders are required to secure an LTOPF as pre-requisite to the registration of their firearms. PNA
“It is important for our gun holders to secure LTOPFs and properly register their firearms to avoid facing illegal possession of firearms violations later on,” Daniel said.
Aside from the caravan, he said the PRO-12 has intensified its operations against loose firearms in parts of the region.
Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Daniel said the recovery of loose firearms was among the directives issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in line with the prevailing martial law in Mindanao. PNA