The 21st century has led to the introduction of new jobs exemplifying diversity, complexity, and the ever changing needs of the society. Specializing in different areas like information technology allows us to have a wide range of career options.
Certainly, the security profession is part of the changing process. As we deal with a plethora of transactions in the areas of communications, finance, and travel, all these put value to the economy and are likewise vulnerable to disruptions, resulting to all sorts of attacks on personal and communal security.
For the past years, the world has experienced terror attacks on transport systems, financial centers, and communities, killing innocent lives and damaging properties. This, in turn, becomes a major concern of the security personnel to curtail terrorism of any form globally.
Rising Need for Security
The 17th Annual Convention on Criminality Education, conducted by the Philippine Educators Association for Criminality Education, Inc. (PEACE), discussed the impact of the security industry in criminality education in the country. Robert Cuaresma, president of the Philippine Association of Registered Security Training Schools Inc. (PARSTS), says “The security industry in our country is experiencing tremendous growth. Some companies are hiring private protective services because they feel that physical hardware and technology may not offer sufficient protection. This is a foreseen effect of increased demand in the security services and hiring of security personnel.”
According to RKM Files (RKMF), a criminology web portal, the National Bureau of Investigation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), United Nations Drugs and Crime Office, Clark Development Corporation, Camp John Hay, media outfits, along with criminology schools, are in need of licensed criminologists for different positions in their respective organizations and offices.
The late congressman Teodulo Natividad of the second district of Bulacan once said: “Many of the personnel of security agencies are being mustered as unemployed. Operators of these agencies must be accredited for carrying the burden of training their personnel to become productive and dependable citizens by inculcating to them a sense of responsibility. Otherwise they would be part of the unemployed, which are a breeding ground for subversive ideologies. With ample encouragement and supervision, private security agencies would curb lawlessness and help promote an industrialized economy in the country.”
Growing Criminology Institutions
Like other careers, security has an organized learning system that can adapt to new trends in the field. Security management courses and its variations provide a sense of direction for anyone who would like to pursue a security profession. With the increasing demand for security services, there are about 190 criminology schools operating in the Philippines.
First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH), an institution of higher learning and research in Tanauan City, Batangas, is one of the prominent schools that offer standard courses in security management.
According to Atty. Gay Marie Francisco, FAITH’s vice president for planning and development, the school offers B.S. Criminology and B.S. Industrial Security Management in the College of Public Safety. These courses are open to all incoming college students and security personnel who wish to finish a degree in these areas. The cost of these B.S. courses is the same with any other course in college. Scholarships and tuition assistance are provided for qualified students.
Some programs in FAITH are designed for professionals who are accepted as working students. Atty. Francisco explains that the institution has “Saturday and Sunday classes for security personnel and individuals from other fields would like to pursue a degree in public safety.”
The common subjects include Security Administration and Management, Contemporary Issues in Security Management, Legal and Ethical Issues of Security, Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology, Terrorism and Defense Fundamentals, and Intelligence for Security, Safety, and Emergency Services. With these subjects, students are immersed in the different facets of security.
FAITH was assisted by Ace And Associates, Inc. in developing its B.S. Criminology and B.S. Industrial Security Management curricula. Atty. Francisco says that the College of Public Safety is part of FAITH’s School of Technology to ensure that graduates are adept in the use of new technologies. Graduates of the security courses may pursue careers in government, private agencies, and correctional and penal institutions. They can also be employed as forensic experts, who are becoming in demand in both public and private agencies. Atty. Francisco gives a broader picture for job seekers: “Given the bold moves against terrorism in most developed countries and booming economies in the Middle East, graduates will have more opportunities working abroad.”
Keeping Up to the Standard
To maintain the standards across institutions, several measurements are applied in keeping the quality of education to the schools. This is where the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) comes in as it collaborates with other accredited institutions like the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools (PAASCU) to provide guidelines and monitor the curriculum being implemented in the private institutions based on a set of standards and government’s requirements.
Accreditation programs of these two organizations are based on a private voluntary self-evaluation of the applying institution and the judgment of other accredited schools. The criteria are set within the school’s objectives, and these are being clarified to make the institution’s goal clear.
According to the statistics of the RKMF, the University of Luzon is only school with Level IV PACUCOA-accredited program in criminology. Criminology programs of the University of Baguio and University of Cordilleras are both Level II PACUCOA-accredited and are geared towards re-accreditation for Level III status. PAASCU is currently working on accrediting BS Criminology programs in different schools nationwide.
Widening Coverage among Institutions
Post-graduate courses and short courses are now being offered in the security field. For those who want to specialize in security management and further pursue higher learning in their careers, post-graduate education and short course trainings are available. The National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) is an institution that provides both. It is the only local school that offers M.A. National Security Administration (MNSA) and “is the only graduate level program that offers a master’s degree covering a broad spectrum of formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies in national security administration.” One of its popular short courses is the airport security management training course where students “enhance skills and capabilities to identify and respond to the threats posed to civil aviation operations through an in-depth background of the various aspects of aviation and airport security.”
The NCDP website says the programs “prepare and develop potential national defense leaders, civilian officials of the different branches of the government and selected executives from the private sector for more effective participation in national security formulation, for high command and staff duty, and for the conduct of strategic and international studies as basis for national policies.” This shows that further education strengthens not only security management at the community level, but also at the national level. More importantly, it helps a security professional to develop and train himself further in the industry.
Several curricula are available giving a broad spectrum of opportunities for individuals to become security professionals, and specialize in the field of security management. Cuaresma recommends that “all the mentors of criminology subjects should revisit industrial security. Industrial security management is the only subject that deals with the current trends in the security industry. The learning module covers the study of the frameworks of the security system, laws governing security, and widely acceptable practices in security management, supervision, operations and organization.” •