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POLICE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS

Definition of Terms
CUSTOMS
have obtained

established usage of social practices carried on by tradition that


the force of law.

TRADITION

bodies of beliefs, stories, customs and usages handed down


from generation with the effect of unwritten law.

COURTESY
others.

a manifestation or expression of consideration and respect of

CEREMONY

a formal act or a set of formal acts established by customs or


authority as
propriety to special occasion.

Customs of the Service


Customs of the service are the long-established practices or usages in the
Philippine National Police (PNP) that have been, by reason of constant and repeated
observance, acquired the character of unwritten norms of conduct.
Most of the customs and the traditions in the PNP are embodied in regulations
while precedents remain as the minimum accepted practices in the police service.
The Officers Code
Official Statements:
A police officers official statement, whether written or unwritten, is accepted
without reservation. Making false official statements knowingly is not only contrary
to police ethics but also punishable under existing penal laws.
Responsibilities:
It is a police officers duty to prepare himself professionally for higher
responsibilities. The rank of a police officer carries with it commensurate
responsibilities. When an officer accepts his commissionship, it is also his duty to
prepare himself for higher responsibilities.
Tact and Forsight:
A police officer must not only be discreet in the exercise of his duties but
must also be prepared to perform his task skillfully under all circumstance.
Personal Appearances:
A Police Commissioned Officer (PCO) must at all times appear neat and
clean. Nothing destroys the respect and confidence of subordinates than the
shabbiness of their superiors.
PCO-PNCO Relationship:
It is an officers concern to improve his organization. He must be able to
exercise good leadership. The common saying, familiarity breeds contempt is
particularly true in PCO-PNCO relationship.

Welfare of the Police Personnel:


The welfare of the police personnel should be the paramount concern of the
police officer.
The Privileges of an Officer
1. Police personnel are required to extent unfailing obedience and loyalty to
senior PCO and PNCO. Obedience should be shown with respect and courtesy.
2. A senior PCO is normally addressed by the use of the word Sir by PNCOs
and NUPs.
For example: sir, a messenger wants to see you. Sir, do you wish to
attend the conference tomorrow?, Yes Sir.
3. A senior police officer is accorded the place of honor. In walking or riding, a
junior sits, walk or rides at the left or behind the senior officer.
4. Courtesy demands that an officer use polite words in a well-modulated tone
to convey an order. The use of phrases, I wish or I desire partakes of the
full force of a direct order.
5. A police officer enjoys the reputation of being a good creditor. He is expected
to set all accounts promptly.
Police Customs on Courtesy
The following are the customs on courtesy in the PNP:
A. Salute
1. Saluting to a Person is the usual greeting rendered by and to the
uniformed members upon meeting and recognizing the person entitled to
a salute.
2. Saluting to a National Colors and Standards the courtesy rendered
to national colors and standards as one passes by them when raised or
lowered.
Manner of Saluting:

The members of the PNP and those belonging to the military and semimilitary organizations in uniform should adopt the military-police salute
provided in the regulations.
The civilian, if and when outdoors, should stand attention and place
their right hands over their hearts, and if wearing a hat, should
uncover and hold the hat over the heart. Complete silence should be
observed and no person should be allowed to walk around while the
ceremony is going on.

B. Address/Title:
Addressing/Titling the junior in ranks addresses the senior members who
are entitled to salute with the word Sir or Mam. All PCOs shall be
addressed Sir or Mam by the PNCOs and NUPS.
C. Courtesy Calls:
The following are the customs on courtesy calls:

Courtesy Call of Newly-Assigned/Appointed Members


the PNP members who are newly-appointed or assigned in a unit
or Command, call on the Chief of the Unit or Command and

other key personnel, as a matter of courtesy, as well as for


accounting.
Christmas Call- the PNP members pay a Christmas call on their
local executives in their respective areas of responsibility.
Promotion Call- the newly-promoted PNP members call their
Unit Head. On this occasion, they are usually given due
recognition and congratulations by their peers.
Exit Call- the PNP members pay an exit call to their superiors in
the Unit or Command when relieved or reassigned out of the
said Unit or Command.
Courtesy of the Post- the Host Unit extends hospitality to the
visiting personnel who pay respect to the Command or Unit.
Rank-has-Its-Own-Privileges (RHIP)- the PNP members
recognize the practice that different ranks carry with them
corresponding privileges.

Police Customs on Ceremonies


A. The National Flag
1. The National Flag shall be displayed in all public office buildings, official
residences, and public squares, and shall be hoisted at sunrise and
lowered at sundown. It should be on the mast at the peak of the day,
should remain flying throughout the day, but shall not stay flying after
the sun has actually set, except when specially prescribed. The flag
staff must be straight, tapering slightly and gently at the end.
B. Ceremonies
1. Flag-Raising Ceremony
The PNP members honor the flag by hoisting it and singing the National
Anthem before the start of the official days work.
2. Flag-Lowering Ceremony
At the end of the official days work, the PNP members pause for a
moment to salute the lowering of the Flag.
3. Half-Mast
The flag is raised at half-mast in deference to the deceased uniform
members of the Command.
4. Funeral Services and Honors
The departed uniformed members, retirees, war veterans or former
PC/INP members are given vigil, necrological services and graveside
honors as a gesture of farewell.
5. Ceremony Tendered to Retirees
In recognition of their long, faithful and honorable service to the PNP, a
testimonial activity shall be tendered in their honor.
6. Honor Ceremony
Arrival and Departure honor ceremonies are rendered to visiting
dignitaries, VIPs, PNP officers with the rank of Chief Superintendent
and above, the AFP officers of equivalent rank, unless waived.
7. Turnover Ceremony
The relinquishment and assumption of Command or key position is
publicly announced in a Turnover Ceremony by the outgoing and
incoming officers in the presence of the immediate superior or his
representative. The outgoing Commander/Director should not leave his
post without proper turnover. This includes turnover of
properties/equipment, human and material resources.
8. Wedding Ceremony
During the marriage of the PNP members, a ceremony is conducted
with participants in uniform and swords drawn.
9. Anniversary

The birth or institutional establishment of a Command or Unit is


commemorated in an Anniversary Ceremony.
B.

The National Anthem


1. The National Anthem should not be played except on public acts of
official or semi-official character or in formal civic ceremonies.
People in the immediate vicinity, if outdoors, should face the band,
uncover, stand at attention and salute.
2. Whenever a band is present the lowering of the Flag, the National
Anthem should be played by the band. The Flag should be lowered
slowly in such a manner that termination of the lowering coincides
with the last note of the music. Anyone present should face the
Flag, stand at attention and salute. If the National Anthem is played
indoors, everyone should stand at attention and face the band.
3. The National Anthem should not be played or sung for mere
recreations amusement or entertainment purposes in social
gathering purely private in nature or at political or partisan
meetings or places of hilarious or vicious amusement. It should
however, be sung in schools so that children may know it by heart.

Other Police Customs


1. VISITING THE SICK- the immediate Commander or other available officers
of the Unit shall visit the PNP members who are sick in the hospital, residence
or any place of confinement in order that their needs are attended to.
2. SURVIRORS ASSISTANCE TO HEIRS OF DECEASED MEMBERS- a survivor
officer is designated whenever a PNP member dies, to render maximum
assistance to his/her bereaved family until a benefit due shall have been
received.
3. VISITING THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS- the PNP officers visit the religious
leaders in their areas of assignment to establish or maintain rapport and
cooperation between the different religious leaders and the PNP.
4. ATHLETICS- the PNP members indulge in physical fitness activities to insure
that the proper physical appearance and bearing will be maintained. The
waistline measurement shall always be smaller than the size of chest and
conforms with the standards set by the PNP.
5. HAPPY HOURS- this is usually conducted during Friday or any other day
suitable for the occasion when the PNP members gather together at the PNP
club for a light-hearted jesting or airing of minor gripes.
Police Traditions
The following are police traditions:
1. SPIRITUAL BELIEFS the PNP members are traditionally religious and Godloving persons. They attend religious services together with the members of
their families.
2. Valor- as attested by history, the Filipino law enforcers have exemplified the
tradition of valor in defending the country from aggression and oppression
and in protecting/preserving the life and property of the people. They
sacrifice their limbs and lives for the sake of their countrymen whom they
have pledged to serve.
3. PATRIOTISM- the PNP members are traditionally patriotic by nature. They
manifest their love of country with a pledge of allegiance to the flag and vow
to defend the Constitution.
4. DECIPLINE- the discipline of PNP members is manifested by instinctive
obedience to lawful orders through a spontaneous actions towards the
attainment of organizational goals guided by moral, ethical and legal norms.

5. GENTLEMANLINESS- the PNP members are upright in character, gentle in


manner, dignified in appearance and sincere in their concern to fellowmen.
6. WORD OF HONOR- the PNP members word is their bond. They stand by it
and commit to uphold it.
7. DUTY- the PNP members have historically exemplified themselves as
dedicated public servants who perform their task with deep sense of
responsibility and self-sacrifice they shall readily accept assignments
anywhere in the country.
8. LOYALTY- the PNP members are traditionally loyal to the organization,
country and people as borne by history and practice.
9. CAMARADERIE- the binding spirit that enhances teamwork and cooperation
in the police organization, extending to the people they serve and is
manifested by the PNP members deep commitment and concern for one
another.