With the Philippines trying to improve its tourism industry as well as a growing Expat community which have their own issues as well I believe an introduction of police volunteer liaison’s could make everyone’s life easier. Expats generally don’t trust the police due to many instances of bribe taking as well as accusations of false arrest and imprisonment. At the same time tourists arriving and falling foul of laws some they are unaware of could find the service very beneficial the same as the PNP force (Philippines National Police). A similar system exists in parts of Thailand as well as someone telling me it exists in another part of the Philippines but often its local Police trained to deal with foreign nationals and from experiences people have been having with the Embassy’s here assuming the embassy is there to help nationals when in essence embassy’s exist primarily for trade and don’t like having their time wasted on trivial local matters. I also think the mix of Expat professionals here mixing and assisting the PNP could have a positive affect on relations between the police and foreign nationals. At the same time making things easier for the PNP to deal with and reduce the risk of situations being inflamed by disorientated Foreigners often intoxicated.
The other reason I think this is important as closing the gap between foreign and local relations not only with the police but many other establishments and businesses can only help improve trade as well as help reduce corruption. Several of the things I have witnessed go wrong in Cebu involved people thinking they have “rights” forgetting or not understand the laws are different here and often diplomacy is the better judge rather than making a bold statement from inside a jail cell. Many minor crimes can be resolved without the need of arrest and this is one of the main roles I could see the liaison dealing with as people often think bail when it could involve imprisonment at least until the case is heard. Will or can it happen? I think this is something that needs to involve business groups of Cebu as well as the PNP and local government but would benefit everyone.