Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed Senate Bill 312 seeking to repeal the height requirement for applicants to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
The bill will be known as “PNP, BFP AND BJMP height Equality Act of 2019” if signed into law.
Senator Zubiri explained that the Constitution affirms the right of every Filipino against discrimination.
“However, height requirements are enforced for those who want to serve in the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). This imposes undue restrictions to those competent to serve in said agencies but do not meet the said qualifications,” he said.
“The requirement was scrapped solely for examination purposes and not for police recruitment,” Zubiri said.
“To address this concern, this bill aims to repeal the minimum height requirements for applicants to the PNP, BFP and BJMP with the belief that each person has the right to equal employment opportunity. The prejudice against height is counteractive for the benefit of the nation. Those willing to serve should be given the chance to prove whether they indeed possess the necessary physical prowess, intellect, drive and potential for the said positions,” he added.
Zubiri noted that in 2018, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) removed the height requirement for those who would want to take the PNP entrance exam.
Napolcom, however, cannot remove the height requirement yet as this is mandated by Republic Act 6975, or the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, the law that established the PNP.
The height requirement is listed among the “minimum qualifications” for admission in the PNP in Section 30 of RA 6975 – men and women need to be at least 1.62 meters (5’4″) and 1.57 meters (5’2″) tall, respectively.
The proposal to lower the height requirement was almost achieved in 2013 when members of the Senate and the House of Representatives during the 16th Congress agreed to lower the requirement of uniformed personnel to 1.57 meters for men and 1.42 for women.
Then President Benigno Aquino III, however, vetoed the measure since the PNP can waive it for certain applicants, such as those belonging to the cultural communities, with special qualifications.
Under SBN 312, the height requirement imposed under Section 30 of RA 6975 as amended by Republic Act 8551 will be immediately repealed.