(Photo courtesy of PNP Public Information Office)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday launched its digital booking system or 'e-booking' to facilitate easy access to crime data as part of efforts to modernize crime solution operations.

Under the system, the police force would fully digitalize the booking process of arrested persons which makes the collection and cross-matching of fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) faster and more efficient.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said police investigators and intelligence operatives will now have easy access to the data storage system which covers arrested law offenders across the country.

“For many years, the PNP had been manually collecting information of arrested persons, but because of this initiative to deliver efficient and timely investigation service, the DIDM (Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) created this system that will fully digitalize the booking process of arrested persons,” said Azurin during the system's launch in Camp Crame.

The booking procedures include getting the fingerprint and taking photos of the arrested law offenders.

“Through this, the collection and cross-matching of fingerprints will now be faster and more efficient. This will further increase the crime solution efficiency of the Philippine National Police. I commend the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management – through the leadership of Police Major General Eliseo DC Cruz, for being one of the paragons of excellence in the organization,” said Azurin.

Cruz, meanwhile, said the system would greatly ease the work of police officers assigned to process crime scenes.

"So when they lift fingerprints from the crime scene, immediately they will compare it with the database of the AFIS. The (PNP) Forensic Group said in one minute, it can easily determine whose fingerprint was obtained at the crime scene. This is how effective the system is," he told reporters.

"So eventually ang ating mga police stations nationwide, once they are equipped with this necessary equipment under the e-booking system, ganun kabilis mapapakinabangan ang lahat ng ating mga physical evidence about fingerprint (that's how fast we would be able to utilize all types of physical evidence about fingerprint)," he added.

Azurin also thanked Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, who graced the event as guest of honor and speaker, for his continued support to the PNP.

“Your presence today further solidifies the tight bond among the pillars of the criminal justice system,” Azurin said.

Remulla, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of fostering a strong partnership between the PNP and the DOJ.

“The Department of Justice and Philippine National Police should always stand side by side, hand in hand in battling the enemies of the state, especially those who commit crimes and violate our penal laws,” Remulla said.

Remulla acknowledged that both the PNP and the DOJ play vital roles in ensuring the safety and security of the Filipino people. He emphasized that their partnership could help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, leading to a more just and equitable society.

He also lauded the PNP for initiating a national police clearance system without any private provider.

Expansion of police clearance services

Meanwhile, the PNP would open more offices where the public could easily obtain a police clearance which is usually a requirement in job applications and other government and private transactions.

The PNP has signed a memorandum of agreement with SM Supermalls and Citymall for the expansion of the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) in their respective commercial establishments.

Aside from police camps, Azurin said individuals can now apply and get a police clearance from branches of SM malls and Citymall across the country.

The expansion of PNP offices for the NPCS was based on the memorandum of agreement that Azurin signed with SM Supermalls President Steven Tan and Citymall top executive Ferdinand Sia on Monday.

“Through this, our National Police Clearance System will also be available in more National Police Clearance Desks in SM malls and Citymalls,” Azurin said.

"This initiative will certainly bring police services to the public at their most convenient time and location,” he added.

Azurin said the agreement is in compliance with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to find ways to facilitate government transactions with the public.

The NPCS is one of the revenue-generating mechanisms of the PNP.

"This collaboration will bring police services to the public at their most convenient time and location. This will surely strengthen the successful implementation of this endeavor, in accordance with our shared commitment of ensuring efficient service delivery to every Filipino," said Azurin. (PNA)