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MAASIN CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- The Southern Leyte Police Provincial Office (SLPPO) got a major facelift with an imposing, 3-storey new structure bathed in the PNP’s blue-themed, law enforcement color, adding life and glitter to the sprawling compound of Camp Alfredo K. Bantug, SLPPO’s official name.

“This is the first standard police provincial office building in Region 8,” Police Brig. Gen. Ronaldo De Jesus, PNP regional director, announced during blessing and inauguration ceremonies Friday, May 21, where he was the guest of honor.

The SLPPO’s spacious new home will “enable personnel on the ground to deliver high standard of service to the public,” PBGen. De Jesus pointed out in his message, adding that out of 19 field stations, only three remained in the old standard type.

He appreciated the support of the local leaders for the realization of the project, even insinuating that the wide, tree-filled provincial camp still has more rooms to develop with the continued full back-up of the local government units.

In a short interview after the event, De Jesus declined to name the three remaining police offices that are still in the old standard, but he figured they can still catch up with the upgraded structure.

He mentioned that the two other standard provincial police office buildings that are nearly finished are in Eastern Samar and Biliran which will also be inaugurated sooner, while the other provinces will soon have theirs also.

According to DPWH Engr. Manolo Rojas, head of the Southern Leyte engineering district, the new SLPPO building has a project cost of P24 million, and its construction began February 10, 2020 by contractor JQD for 306 calendar days, although there were days when work was suspended due to Covid-19 threat.

A highlight of the occasion was the passing of the symbolic key from the representative of the contractor, to the DPWH as the implementing agency, to the local government units and congressional district represented by the Mercado brothers, respectively, to PBGen. De Jesus, up to the end user, PCol. Dante Novicio, PNP provincial director.

PD Novicio earlier affirmed that the development would surely boost the morale of cops in the province, who were represented by their respective chiefs of police attending the ceremony.

For his part, Gov. Damian Mercado acknowledged the PNP’s role in implementing the Covid-19 protocols as outlined in the executive orders, as well as in maintaining the overall peace and order situation of the province. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)