The Philippine National Police under chief Camilo Cascolan is planning to implement an eight-hour shift for policemen from the current 12 hours to give its personnel enough time to rest and have more quality time with their families.
Cascolan said the reduced work hours would have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the 209,000-strong police force. Reducing the daily duties of policemen to eight hours is also expected to improve productivity.
He said the eight-hour shift could be applied in the National Capital Region Police Office which has over 27,000 personnel. Police commanders have the option to maintain the current 12-hour shift but can extend the rest period of personnel to 24 hours from the current 16 hours.
Cascolan said policemen may conduct beat patrols for eight hours and an additional four hours for administrative duties such as documentation of suspected criminals arrested in police operations. Afterwards, they can rest for one day.
The PNP chief admitted that there are instances when police officers have to stay on duty beyond eight hours, especially for police stations that lack manpower.
Cascolan is known within the PNP as an official who cares for his troops, having implemented the eight-hour shift when he headed the NCRPO in 2018.
As human beings who will benefit from quality time for themselves and their families, policemen also deserve a break. For the police stations and outposts that are adequately manned, it may be time to consider the eight hour shift, especially if the pros outweigh the cons and the initiative results in policemen who are not only more productive, but possibly less stressed and more humane as they carry out their difficult but necessary roles in our society.*