MANILA, Philippines—They better click the “like” button on his order—then log out immediately.
Saying a lawman’s time is better spent chasing criminals than making “friends” or hunting down virtual villains on the Net, the head of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has barred his people from accessing social networking sites like Facebook and playing interactive games while on duty.
QCPD director Senior Supt. Richard Albano also warned them not to spend too much time chatting or texting on their mobile phones.
Albano fired out a memo dated March 13 which conveyed “a growing concern of the PNP leadership regarding the excessive use and unhindered access by our personnel to Internet sites and the considerable amount of official time spent surfing social networking sites or playing interactive games online while using government time and resources.”
“This irregular practice affects not only the efficient delivery of services to our internal and external clients, but also slows down Internet traffic that hinders the work of personnel doing legitimate tasks,” the memo said.
“In this regard, the use and access to the Internet for personal purpose during office hours are hereby prohibited. However, only official social networking accounts will be maintained,” it added.
In an interview, Albano said he had ordered the restriction to ensure that no Quezon City policeman would fall into the habit and waste time that should otherwise be spent serving the public.
“I also wanted to include policemen who keep on texting while on active duty. They hardly put down their phones. But I can only discourage them from the practice because there is no way of telling if they are texting in relation to their job or if the messages are personal,” Albano remarked.
QCPD members caught violating the ban face sanctions, he said. “They would be given a warning for the first offense and a reprimand for the second. For a third offense, they could face suspension and forfeiture of their salaries for two to three days depending on the gravity of the violation,” Albano explained.
For his next move, he said, he plans to rid all QCPD computers of game programs.