IN A bid to modernize data gathering and records management, the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched Monday, March 13, 2023, its Digital Booking System or “E-Booking” that will provide law enforcers an easier access to crime data particularly on arrested law offenders.

The system will help make the collection and cross-matching of fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) faster and more efficient, said the PNP.

Major General Eliseo Cruz, director of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, said the implementation of the digitalized system is expected to increase the crime solution efficiency of the PNP, reduce operational expenses and shorten several processes being undertaken by police offices in the country.

At present, in the manual booking procedures, the fingerprints of the arrested suspects are being put in 10 print cards before it will each be scanned and uploaded to the AFIS.

Cruz said that around 800 crime suspects are booked each day in the country, and this means thousands of fingerprint cards being scanned every day.

Cruz said this is on top of the around 15,000 fingerprints being collected from those applying for national police clearances.

“So naiisip natin ‘yung pagkuha nitong fingerprints sa mga arrested criminals idigitalize na natin through the use of this heavy duty fingerprint scanner. Once ang isang suspect ay arrested in the police station at capable ‘yung ating police station about e-booking, meron siyang equipment about this e-booking, instantly ‘yung kanyang fingerprint ay makakarating na sa ating forensic group diretso doon sa database,” he said.

(So we are thinking of digitizing the fingerprints of the arrested criminals through the use of this heavy duty fingerprint scanner. Once a suspect is arrested in the police station and our police station has the e-booking capability, the fingerprint will be sent to our forensic group directly through the database.)

“Those who get their police clearance, they might be involved in crimes. So when our forensic group conducts Soco in a crime scene, the first thing that they look is the physical evidence, the fingerprint. So when they lift fingerprints from the crime scene, immediately they will compare it with the database of the AFIS. The forensic group said they can identify on one minute the person involved in the crime through the fingerprint. This is how effective the system is,” he added.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, guest of honor during the launching, lauded the PNP initiative, noting its cost efficiency.

“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.

“I give due credit to Philippine National Police for having an independent e-system that does not allow itself to be part of a raket,” he added.

During the event, the PNP also signed a memorandum of agreement with SM Supermalls and Citymalls for the expansion of the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) in their respective commercial establishments.

“This collaboration will bring police services to the public at their most convenient time and location,” PNP Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said.

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

The NPCS is one of the revenue-generating mechanisms of the PNP. (SunStar Philippines)