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7/17/2017 The Crucial Role of SOSIA: Supervising Security Agencies SecurityMatters Magazine

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THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF SOSIA: SUPERVISING SECURITY


AGENCIES
written by Excel.Dyquiangco January 9, 2013

Police Chief Supt. Samuel Diciano is no ordinary man. His hands are full, working as chief of the Supervisory Of ce for
Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) of the Philippine National Police. He has the noble responsibility of regulating

and harnessing the potential of hundreds of security guards and their reputable agencies nationwide. This includes
monitoring their needs, airing their complaints, and listening to their concerns. His existence is valuable, with a goal of
letting all systems go while improving the old process in security guard enterprises.

Diciano, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, says, I deal with more than half a million security guards

nationwide. He further adds, They guard the stores and shops 24 hours a day. We help provide their needs by means of
regulating the bene ts they deserve in the workplace. If they lack training, experience delayed salary or whenever their guns

are not renewed, how can they work ef ciently and effectively?

Certainly, many security guards are like policemen. They guard establishments, schools, and sometimes assist in traf c

enforcement. Some are assigned to take care of the streets, power plants, and mining rms in far- ung areas. Without them,
policemen can not function well, he says.

Challenges of Security Guards


What are the common problems that security guards face? How does Diciano deal with them? From 2006 to 2010, about 801

security guard rms failed to renew their licenses to operate, 157 of the companies were issued cease to operate (CTO) orders,

and 13 rms got license cancellations.

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7/17/2017 The Crucial Role of SOSIA: Supervising Security Agencies SecurityMatters Magazine

To warn the security guard rms about the existing regulations, Diciano issued a Letter of Instruction (LOI), popularly known
as LOI Siyasat, which is designed to inform all existing private security agencies (PSAs), company guard forces (CGFs),

government guard units (GGUs), and private detective agencies (PDAs) nationwide about the new policies being implemented

and subsequently identify security agencies operating without permits, with expired or renewed license to operate, or those
with CTO orders.

Through this measure, SOSIA updates its list of accredited PSAs nationwide and conducts aggressive operations against

delinquent security agencies through administrative and post-to-post operations. He observes that despite such stern stance,

many agencies continue to operate even if they fail to meet the minimum requirement of employing about 200 security
guards.

Provisions for Security Guards Welfare


In collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Diciano has ordered the regional of cers to inspect

whether the security guards are getting the standard bene ts that they are entitled to. This drive is being implemented by
seeking the assistance of the Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO), the umbrella

organization of 3,000 private security agencies and company guard forces operating nationwide, which undertakes regional
visits and identi es whether security agencies comply with the rules and regulations of the SOSIA.

Such order came from earlier reports that some security guards are being paid below minimum wage and deducted with taxes

that are not being remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), their contributions are not being given to the Social
Security System (SSS). Many view this as the start of an unfair competition, a way of defrauding the government of revenues
and posing a threat to peace and order.

Cut-throat Competition
With the cut-throat practice among security agencies, many guards are helpless and are willing to accept below minimum

wage just to get work. As this occurs, the quality of their services deteriorates. He says, It is possible that the lowly paid
guards are the ones who will be stealing from their assigned establishments.

However, he stresses that not all security agencies have expired licenses. There are still many security rms that are

legitimate and are owned by businessmen and private citizens. Some do their best to ensure that the security guards they
employ are provided with all the bene ts they deserve and are properly compensated.

The implementation of the regulations is a very clear message that unscrupulous activities and frequent violators have no
business in the security industry, he said. SOSIA is willing to help security agencies become business-friendly to their clients,
he added.

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7/17/2017 The Crucial Role of SOSIA: Supervising Security Agencies SecurityMatters Magazine

Improved Operations
For the security guards, Diciano dreams a better life for them. He believes in their work protecting the ordinary citizens
toward a safe and secure community.

He aspires to make SOSIA a very ef cient organization by embracing the use of technology through the computerization

process. This is his vision when he took his reign as chief in January. We will do away with manual processes that create
delays in the documentation or issuance of licenses to the security guards. Automation is the key, he says.

Initial Steps
Established in April 2011, he and his team have started setting up computers in the security agency regional of ces. With this
new program, he believes this would lighten the burden of submitting agency reports.It is also more economical when

preparing monthly disposition reports, weekly reports and correspondences, letters of authority to conduct training,
management of student guard information, security updates and memoranda, license veri cations, free agents list and
helpline hotlines.

Using the old system, he says, could be very costly. Providing food and accommodation should be considered during his stay
in a regional of ce. Unlike if reports are submitted online, agencies would only pay for the computer and equipment

maintenance, and only cost around Php 100 a month. Other bene ts include the use of expensive software system with low
manpower and administrative costs.

Reducing Corruption
Diciano notes that with the new online system, graft and corruption is reduced. For example, when a submitted report via
mail gets lost, you tend to pay under the table to get your paperwork done in an instant. This practice is very inef cient and
is prone to graft and corruption.

The automated process allows the security guards, especially those whose assignments are outside Metro Manila to check
whether their SSS, Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth contributions were remitted, or whether their license needs renewal. Online
documentation also helps to identify whether several security agencies are habitual violators.

He hopes by next month, SOSIA will be completely automated and fully operational nationwide. As a national support of ce
of PNP, SOSIA needs to effectively supervise and regulate all personnel involved in the industry.

Longer Expiration
Instead of two years, the security guard and all security personnel licenses will have an expiration date of three years. It will
be costly for the guards to renew their licenses every two years, he says. Also, security guards have to take a leave from work

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and have to spend a month or two months salary to complete the process.

SOSIA will soon open a new four-year course in college that will cater solely to those who want to work in the security
industry. Talks are already in place so that those who want to study, can enroll.

First published in theGuards & Agenciessection ofVolume 1 Issue No.6of SecurityMatters Magazine Print Edition

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