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Here Are Five Bad Habits Of Filipino Security Guards

July 20, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Other than churches and immense shopping malls, few archetypes in modern Filipino life are as irreplaceable as the security guard. These men–and they’re predominantly men–are found in almost every conceivable private and public establishment where they serve as gatekeepers. But the nature of their jobs often grows beyond anyone’s expectations. Therein lies the problem.

Security is a critical aspect of running a medium and large business. The risks that arise in the absence of credible security are far too threatening to ignore. But in the Philippines, the professionals tasked with ensuring a business is safe from physical threats are often ill-suited for the job. Here are the reasons why.

Do Everything

In commercial establishments, for example, the security guard is given orders to handle whatever goes on outside at all times. This can be problematic, as the security guard’s function as gatekeeper overlaps with acting as a concierge, a parking attendant, a receptionist, a valet, and even a doorman. Performing these jobs, while helpful for customers, means the security guard is unable to stay focused on being a deterrent against physical risks to the business.

The ideal security guard is always self-aware and observant. It’s the on-site staff who should take care of everything else.

Improper Procedure

When assigned to protect the ground floor or main entrance of a commercial enterprise, a security guard’s most important task is keeping tab on everyone coming in and out. Unfortunately, there are so many factors that inhibit them from performing this job. As noted above, some businesses expect their security guards to multitask and there are always workplaces where inadequate tools mean security guards can’t keep detailed records.

Some companies even expect their security guards to eat, sleep, and entertain themselves in the premises, which is a sure sign of negligence.

Loose Firearms

A distinct characteristic of Filipino security guards, who are often contractors hired from a manpower agency, are their armaments. While a baton will suffice as a defensive tool for a trained professional, most Filipino security guards are issued a revolver and, in some cases, a pump action shotgun. There are even clients such as banks and VIPs who expect their security details to be equipped with “high-powered firearms.”

Rather than hire security guards who arrive at work armed to the teeth, companies must guarantee these men and women have spotless backgrounds and firearm proficiency. In most cases, guns are overkill!


The private security sector operates under a strict regulatory regime. The Philippine National Police (PNP) controls the licensing for most private security companies and applicants who want to work as guards need at least a high school diploma coupled with a transcript of records. The overall paperwork is comprehensive and involves at least 13 separate documents for entry level security guards.

But if a company recruits guards without vetting them, this is a clear invitation to trouble. Background checks must be thorough because security guards often fulfill vital tasks for an enterprise. By the way, active duty soldiers and police aren’t allowed to take side gigs as private security guards!

Work Hours?

One of the surest indicators a medium or large business is wasting money on its security guards is when these men and women are expected to live in the premises. If the thought of a security guard sleeping under his or her desk during off hours is amusing, it also betrays a grave deficit in professional conduct. Security guards must be on alert and keeping records during mandated work hours. A security guard’s job isn’t to treat their place of employment like a boarding house.

The worst an employer can expect from this kind of arrangement is being greeted by a bleary eyed and hungover guard in his wifebeaters at seven in the morning.

Risk vs. Security

To mitigate business risks, companies who need protection for their assets, employees, and supply chains are best served by certified risk consultants. Boutique firms like Adsum Risk Consulting (ARC) have more than three decades of experience to look back on and know how to operate regionally. When it comes to asset tracking, background checks, due diligence, and fraud investigations, ARC are perfectly equipped for these tasks. They can be reached here.


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