PALO, Leyte-The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing a more effective drive against illegal drugs and terrorism with the Japanese donation of 45 hybrid patrol cars in Eastern Visayas.
Police Director Jose Ma. Victor Ramos, chief of PNP logistics, said the donation from the Japanese government was very timely as it would augment mobility assets of the police regional office here.
“This will be used to serve the people. This will capacitate policemen to win the fight against illegal drugs and terrorism. (The) government will save a lot with the fuel cost,” Ramos said.
Takuei Nakayama, First Secretary of Japan Embassy in Manila, said the donation further strengthened diplomatic ties between Philippines and Japan.
“We saw the extent of damage caused by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in this region same as the destruction wrought by tsunami in Japan. These cars will be used not just against criminality, but also during emergency situations,” Takuei said.
“The Japanese government sincerely hopes that these patrol cars will have a great help in the region.”
The 45 cars comprise the second batch of Toyota hybrid cars donated by Japan to the country. Last February 18, the foreign government distributed 32 units to national government agencies in the National Capital Region and Eastern Visayas.
Still up for distribution are 11 hybrid cars meant for national offices of government agencies in Manila.
Of the 45 units, 20 are for Leyte police provincial office; eight for Eastern Samar; eight for regional office; three for Tacloban City; two for Ormoc City; and one each for Samar, Biliran, Northern Samar, and the police regional public safety battalion.
Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Benito Ranque said the donation is part of the promotion of hybrid cars to attain sustainable energy consumption.
“The Philippine government has increasingly recognized that technology and innovation are the key components for the socio-economic developments and resiliency,” Ranque said.
PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar thanked the DOE for prioritizing the police regional office here.
The new vehicles are meant to replace police cars damaged by “Yolanda” in 2013.
“For the entrusted officers, I want all provincial chiefs, city head, and directors to be responsible of proper maintenance of these patrol cars,” Beltejar said.
The Japanese government and the energy department provide maintenance fund of P200,000 per year for five years.
The hybrid cars are powered using electricity and fuel.
The Japanese government provided to the Philippine government 500-million-yen (about P250 million) grant for the procurement and delivery of the hybrid vehicles under the Japan Non-Project Grant Aid.