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A barangay tanod, also known as a barangay police officer -- and sometimes as BPSO (which can stand for barangay peace and security officer, barangay peacekeeping and security officer, or barangay police safety officer) -- is the lowest level of law enforcement officer in the Philippines. He is a watchman for a barangay who is supervised by the barangay captain and performs a variety of police functions. Tanods are "front liners (sic) in the preparation and response to any type of atrocities, public disorders, emergencies and even disasters or man-made calamities that threaten peace and order and public safety."
While they cooperate with the Philippine National Police (PNP), they are not a part of the PNP. They do not have the same authority as police officers. Rather tanods augment the police and fulfill "certain functions which the police force cannot immediately discharge especially with respect to the implementation of national and local laws within barangays." The Local Government Code of the Philippines sets out the basic duties and responsibilities of a tanod. The Department of Interior and Local Government provides training and a fuller definition of duties.
They may be either unarmed or armed simply, say with a truncheon or a bolo, a type of machete. They are not officially armed with guns, though some do carry arms. Those who do carry a gun may have obtained a private license as a private citizen and not as part of their official tanod duties, while others carry the firearms illegally.
While they are often described as volunteers, they can receive some payment and other benefits which are paid out of the barangay's, municipality's, or city's funds which mostly come from the Internal Revenue Allotment, supplemented by other sources. Tanods can receive different pay and benefits depending upon the wealth and need of the local community. In Cebu City, the city government permits each barangay to pay a tanod an "honorium" of 4,000 pesos per month. In other places, tanods only receive 300 pesos per month.
In 2004, there were over 700,000 tanods. (There are about 140,000 personnel of the Philippines National Police.) The number, however, varies from city to city and barangay to barangay. The city of Cebu authorizes each barangay to hire up to 20 tanods. In 2011, the city of Baguio, with a population of approximately 325,000, had 392 tanods across 88 barangays, or an average of 4.5 per barangay. In Cagayan de Oro, there are 950 tanods across 56 barangays, or about an average of 17 per barangay. In the province of Southern Leyte, there were 3,452 tanods as of 2012.
Often a barangay will have a tanod outpost that can either be a simple shelter or a small concrete building.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2012)|
Tanods were well established long before the passage of the current Local Government Code in 1991.
- "Seach [sic] for Outstanding Barangay Tanod". Local Government Regional Resource Center Region VI, Dept. of Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- Recuenco, Aaron B. (December 17, 2011). "'Tanod' tapped for police visibility". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- Bayan, Nerie (February 24, 2011). "http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/opinion/bayan-barangay-tanod-system". SunStar Baguio. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Vestil, Justin Anjuli K; Nilda Gallo; and Hayde Quiñanola (June 18, 2008). "Tanods use illegal guns". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Seach for Outstanding Barangay Tanod". Local Government Regional Resource Center. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Codamon, Daniel B. (12 October 2012). "Banaue provides hospitalization, burial assistance to barangay officials". Philippine Information Agency. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
(T)he local law...shall apply to all...barangay tanods,...and other duly appointed barangay personnel who are in active service in their respective barangays at the time of availment of the benefits.
- Borromeo, Rene U. (February 22, 2013). "City treasurer urged: Release tanod, lupon stipend monthly". The Freeman. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Torregoza, Hannah L. (February 22, 2013). "No New Guest Candidates For UNA". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1508 (repealed by R.A. 7160) ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF AMICABLY SETTLING DISPUTES AT THE BARANGAY LEVEL
- R.A. 7160 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991