SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
27 November 2020 10:02:41 PM
The House Subcommittee on Police Administration chaired by Sulu Rep. Samier Tan approved, subject to style on Friday, the draft substitute bill seeking to lower the minimum height requirement for applicants to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), as well as for the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). The measure would incorporate the proposals of representatives from different government agencies, all of whom expressed support during the meeting for the lowering of the minimum height requirement instead of abolishing it. The amended bill would be presented to the Committee on Public Order and Safety chaired by Rep. Narciso Bravo Jr. for approval in its next meeting. The bill substituted House Bill 2242 authored by Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, HB 3639 by Rep. Raul 'Boboy' Tupas, HB 5340 by John Marvin 'Yul Servo' Nieto, HB 6635 by Rep. Manuel Cabochan III, HB 7520 by Rep. Luis Raymund ‘LRay’ Villafuerte Jr., HB 7639 by Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting and HB 7960 by Rep. Alfred Vargas. In his opening remarks, Tan said lowering or repealing the minimum height requirement for applicants to the police force has long been the subject of debates not only in the Philippines, but in other countries as well. He said many people see it as discriminatory and unlawful while others argue that establishing a height requirement ensures that officers are physically able to deal with the various functions of the force, be it in the police, fire protection or jail management. “Size is not always the issue because all officers at one point in their career are likely to be confronted by offenders who may be physically larger,” he said. Countries like the United States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand have abolished height standards and replaced these instead with various indicators such as body mass index and physical aptitude test which are better ways of assessing the suitability of a candidate, according to Tan. Also known as the proposed “PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor Height Equality Act”, the substitute bill seeks to amend Section 30 of Republic Act 6975 or the “Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990”, as amended by RA 8551 or the “Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act.” The amendment provides that an officer or member of the PNP should be at least one meter and 57 centimeters or five feet and two inches (5’2’) in height for male, and one meter and 52 centimeters or five feet (5’0”) for female. The present minimum height requirements are one meter and 62 centimeters for male, and one meter and 57 centimeters for female. The bill also seeks an amendment of Section 4 of RA 9263 or the “Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Professionalization Act of 2004.” The amendment provides that BFP and BJMP personnel should be at least one meter and 57 centimeters in height for male, and one meter and 52 centimeters for female. The present minimum height requirements are one meter and 62 centimeters for male, and one meter and 57 centimeters for female. Lastly, it seeks the amendment of Section 11 of RA 10575 or the “The Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013” so that the minimum height requirements for BuCor personnel would be one meter and 57 centimeters for male, and one meter and 52 centimeters for female. The present minimum height requirements are one meter and 62 centimeters for male, and one meter and 57 centimeters for female.