Millions of pesos worth of fuel coupons are pilfered by police officers, with the blessing of their superiors, and are distributed to civilians, a source in Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police headquarters, told The Manila Times.
The coupons are supposedly issued exclusively to police officers on official missions. But the source, a logistics officer who did not want to be identified, said hundreds of the coupons are “virtually” lost every month because they are issued to individuals who are not police officers or personnel for free.
The PNP prints thousands of fuel coupons every quarter for distribution to every police unit or offices in Camp Crame.
The number of coupons given varies from every offices or units.
One coupon is equivalent to 10 liters of gasoline or diesel fuel and can be redeemed at a Petron gas station inside the camp. Normally a patrol car is allocated 40 liters of fuel a week.
The officer, who is assigned in Camp Crame, admitted that fuel coupons are indeed being given to individuals other than members of the police force.
“This thing has been going on for sometime now, even before I was assigned here and I think this seems to be normal,” the officer, who requested not to be named, said.
But he quickly added that these fuel coupons are not sold, but distributed for free to civilians, individuals, relatives of policemen and even to some members of the media.
“I don’t have any knowledge about the fuel coupon being sold. All I knew is that some of these fuel coupons are given to some individuals as gifts,” the officer said.
He did not discount the possibility that some policemen sell the fuel coupons issued to them.
“Maybe in a case-to-case basis there are some selling their coupons. As far as I know once these coupons were distributed, it’s up to the concerned units or office how to disburse or dispose them,” the officer said.
He also added it is difficult to counterfeit the fuel coupons because they are numbered and are properly documented before they are issued to the different police units.
“It has a control number and it is stamped with the name of the office were it is intended so it would be hard to syndicate or pilfered it,” the officer said.
Asked how it would affect police work, because some of the coupons intended for official use were distributed to non-PNP members, he said they have also to tighten their belts.
“We just have to economize . . . cut down on our operations or resort to car pooling,” he said.
A reporter covering Camp Crame several years ago said the fuel coupons are given to some members of the media.
One reporter could be given no less than 50 liters worth of gasoline a week,” the reporter told The Times.
Another source said there must be an inventory of the coupons to determine the extent of losses the PNP is incurring from their pilferage.
The source said even the wives and children of ranking police officials are issued fuel coupons.