Lowering height requirements for uniformed service opens opportunities to more Filipinos - senators

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2021 05:02 PM

Lowering height requirements for uniformed service opens opportunities to more Filipinos - senators 1
Members of the Manila Police District lead the flag raising ceremony at the Kartilya ng Katipunan Plaza in Manila City on February 08, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Two senators on Thursday welcomed the measure lowering height requirements for law enforcement authorities, noting that the move would allow opportunities for more Filipinos to serve the country. 

In a statement, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said "a lot" of Filipinos have been waiting for the Height Equality Act to be passed so they could serve the nation despite their height.

Republic Act No. 11549, which President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Wednesday, lowered the minimum height requirement to 1.57 meters or 5 feet 2 inches for males and 1.52 meters or 5 feet for females in the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Male and female applicants to the said services were previously required to have a height of at least 5'3" and 5'2", respectively. 

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The law also automatically waives such requirements for applicants from cultural communities and indigenous groups.

“Napakarami nating kababayan na gustong-gustong maglingkod bilang pulis o bumbero—na hindi madadaling trabaho—pero nahaharang po sa application pa lang dahil kinapos lang ng kaunti sa height,” Zubiri, the measure's principal author, said. 

(We have a lot of Filipinos who want to serve as a police or fireman but their application is hindered because of their height)

“Kaya isinulong talaga natin itong batas na ito para mabigyan sila ng pagkakataong maglingkod sa bayan," he added. 

(We pushed for this law to give them a chance to serve our country)

Sen. Bato Dela Rosa said the law would "accommodate our vertically challenged countrymen." 

The lawmaker, a former PNP chief, pointed out that stringent screening for applicants would still be in place. 

"Let me assure all Filipinos that this law only lowered the height requirement and not the competence. Every new applicant benefiting from this law shall still be subjected to the highest standards required to be a member of the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor," said Dela Rosa.