Many Filipinos who wish to become officers at the Philippine National Police (PNP) have long disregarded their dreams to serve their people and the country. The strict height requirements that have been implemented to be qualified as a PNP officer and other uniformed personnel made it impossible for some Filipinos to pursue their calling of serving their nation. Now that the Philippine Government aims to improve the services and laws that the Filipino people will benefit from, a bill regarding lowering the height requirements for the applicants of the PNP and other uniformed personnel was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Republic Act (RA) 11549 of lowering the height requirements for application at the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). The bill aims to consider aspiring members of the PNP and other uniformed personnel who didn’t reach the strict height requirements that were implemented long ago.
Under the bill, RA 11549, from the former set height limit requirements of 5’3’’ or 1.62 meters for male applicants, has now been lowered to 5’1’’ or 1.57 meters. For female applicants, the previous height limit requirement is 5’1” or 1.57 meters, and now been lowered to 4’9” or 1.52 meters. The newly enacted law also provides an automatic waiver for height requirements to be granted to applicants who belong to the cultural communities or indigenous people.
The law shall take effect 15 days after it has been completely published in an Official Gazette or other news platforms for the general public to be informed. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in coordination with the Philippine National Commission, Civil Service Commission, PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor are authorized to publicize the stated rules and regulations that are essential for the execution of RA 11549 within 90 days after the law has taken effect.
According to PGen Eleazar, who is the current PNP Chief, he agrees with the statement of the former PNP Chief who is now a Senator, Ronald “Bato Dela Rosa that being a police officer and serving the nation should not be measured by height. Dela Rosa also stated that an individual’s height or physical qualities should not hinder them from pursuing their dreams of becoming uniformed personnel and he also believes that the measure is the “key in opening the gates of public service”.
The former and current PNP Chief believed that height is not the standard of measuring what kind of police officer an individual should be. PGen Eleazar also gave his instruction to reconsider former applicants who didn’t reach the previous height limit requirements but have met the new height requirements indicated by RA 11549.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, who is one of the authors of the bill stated that the previous set height limit requirements for aspiring members of the PNP, BJMP, BFP, and BuCor are discriminatory. Thus, the enactment of the law is essential to give more chances for aspiring members of the uniformed personnel.
The new bill that has been signed by President Duterte gives chance to Filipinos who have longed to dream of serving their nation. The bill also encourages more Filipinos to serve their country who lacked in height but are willing to be a member of the PNP and other uniformed personnel. Once the law has been implemented, it will increase the number of Filipinos who are joining the uniformed personnel sectors which will benefit millions of Filipinos.
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Gita-Carlos, (2021), Lowering height limit for PNP, other uniformed personnel OK’d, Philippine News Agency
(2021), PNP WELCOMES NEW HEIGHT REQUIREMENT FOR UNIFORMED SERVICE APPLICANTS, Philippine National Police
Bordey, (2021), Duterte signs law lowering height requirement for PNP, other uniformed personnel, GMA News