5-month gun ban: Who’s allowed to be armed?

There are 38 government offices and kinds of private organizations--classified into 4 groups--whose members are allowed to carry guns

MANILA, Philippines – Despite a resolution issued by the poll body that clearly excludes private individuals from firearms ban exemptions, some gun owners still took chances at the Comelec on the first weekday of the ban on Monday, January 14.

They were turned away by the Commission on Elections, of course.

The poll body also reiterated that even candidates or members of their immediate family whose lives are at risk can only be given bodyguards by law enforcement agencies, as approved by the Comelec, but not gun ban exemptions.


The firearms ban, which started January 13, will be in effect for 5 months. Comelec Resolutions No. 9561-A and 9608 enumerate 47 government agencies and branches and types of private organizations – classified into 5 groups – whose members or employees are allowed to be armed during this period.

They are:


  1. Regular uniformed officers and members of the PNP; commissioned officers (COs), non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and enlisted personnel (EP) of the AFP;

  2. Regular officers, members, and agents of the following agencies of the government who are actually performing law enforcement and/or security functions:

    1. National Bureau of Investigation;

    2. Bureau of Corrections, Department of Justice; provincial and city jails

    3. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology;

    4. (a) Intelligence Division and (b) Investigation Division of the Intelligence and Investigation Service; and the (c) Customs Police Division of the Enforcement and Security Service; of the Bureau of Customs;

    5. Port Police Department, Philippine Ports Authority;

    6. Philippine Economic Zone Authority police forces;

    7. Government guard forces regulated by the PNP under RA No. 5487;

    8. (a) The commissioner and deputy commissioners; (b) law and investigation division and intelligence division of the Bureau of Immigration;

    9. Manila International Airport Authority Police Force;

    10. Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority Police Force;

    11. Law Enforcement Service of the Land Transportation Office;

    12. Philippine Coast Guard;

    13. Cebu Port Authority Police Force;

    14. Internal Security Operations Group of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefits Program of the Department of Justice;

    15. Enforcement and Investigation Division, Optical Media Board;

    16. (a) The Security Investigation and Transport Department, (b) Cash Department and (c) the Office of Special Investigation, Branch Operations, of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas;

    17. Offices of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) of (a) the Senate and (b) the House of Representatives, including the OSAA designated security escorts of senators and congressmen;

    18. Inspection Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation;

    19. Members of the Commission on Elections, directors and lawyers in the main office of the commission, regional election directors, assistant regional election directors, chiefs-of-staff of the offices of the chairman and commissioners, provincial election supervisors, regional attorneys and election officers, and organic security officers of the Commission on Elections;

    20. Inspection, Monitoring, and Investigation Service of the National Police Commission;

    21. Special Action and Investigation Division, Forest Officers defined under PD No. 705, Forest/Park Rangers, Wildlife Officers, and Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under DAO No. 1997-32;

    22. Intelligence and Security Unit, Office of the Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs;

    23. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency;

    24. Philippine Center for Transnational Crime;

    25. National Intelligence Coordinating Agency;

    26. Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units Active Auxiliaries and Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units Active Auxiliaries already constituted upon the effectivity of this Resolution while within the barracks;

    27. Presidential Security Group;

    28. Internal Security Division of the Bureau of the Treasury, the Treasurer, and Deputy Treasurers of the Philippines;

    29. Internal Security of the Office of the Vice-President;

    30. The secretary, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and the Internal Security of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government;

    31. Internal Security of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of National Defense.

    32. The secretary, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, prosecutor-general, chief state prosecutor, and state, regional, provincial, and city prosecutors of the Department of Justice;

    33. The solicitor-general

    34. The ombudsman, deputy ombudsman, investigators, and prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman;

    35. The chairmen and commissioners of the constitutional commissions;

    36. The chairperson and commissioners of the Commission on Human Rights;

    37. The chief public attorney;

    38. The vice president of the Republic of the Philippines

    39. Senators who are not running for reelection; and

    40. Cabinet secretaries


Provided that when in the possession of firearms, they are:


  • in the regular plantilla of the said agencies and are receiving regular compensation for the services rendered in said agencies;

  • in the agency-prescribed uniform showing clearly and legibly the name, rank, and serial number or, in case rank and serial number are inapplicable, the agency-issued identification card showing clearly the name and position, which shall remain visible at all times;

  • duly authorized to possess firearms and to carry the same outside of residence by means of a valid permit to carry or by virtue of a valid mission order or letter order; and

  • in the actual performance of official law enforcement and/or security duty, or in going to or returning from his residence/barracks or official station 

  1. Members of privately-owned or -operated security, investigative, protective, or intelligence agencies. Provided that when in the possession of firearms, they are:

  • in the agency-prescribed uniform with the agency-issued identification card prominently displayed and visible at all times, showing clearly the name and position;

  • in possession of a valid license to exercise security profession with duty detail order for security guards or special duty detail order for protection agents, and valid firearms license of the agency where they are employed;

  • deployed by private security agencies duly licensed by the PNP;

  • deployed by private detective agencies or private security agencies duly licensed/accredited by the PNP, in case of Protection Agents; and

  • in the actual performance of duty at his specified place or area of duty.

  1. Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeal; and Judges of the Regional Trial courts and Municipal/ Metropolitan/Circuit Trial Courts;

  2. Security personnel of accredited foreign diplomatic corps and establishments under international law including foreign military personnel in the Philippines covered by existing treaties and international agreements endorsed by the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the heads of missions of foreign countries in the Philippines 

– Rappler.com