Senators on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to lower the minimum height requirement for applicants of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Correction (BuCor).
Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1563 or the PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor Height Equality Act was approved with 23 affirmative votes, no negative vote and no abstention.
SBN 1563 is in substitution of SBN 312 introduced by Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson; SBN 405 filed by Sen. Francis “Tol” Tolentino; and SBN 871 authored by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
From the current 5’3″ and 5’2″ height requirement for male and female applicants respectively, the bill seeks to lower to 5’2″ the height requirement for males and 5’0″ for females.
SBN 1563 also waived the height requirements for applicants belonging to the cultural communities or the indigenous people.
Dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and sponsor of the measure, said the approval of the bill would allow the PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor to accept male applicants with 5 feet and 2 inches’ height and female applicants with 5 feet height.
“I still believe that sacrifice, dedication and service to the country cannot be measured by height nor by any physical characteristics given by the unseen hand of our Supreme Being,” Dela Rosa said in his explanatory note.
The Senator explained that given the required mandate of uniformed personnel, and for practicality in accomplishing tasks, there is still the need to retain a minimum height requirement for them to be able perform their duties and responsibilities exceptionally.
During his manifestation after the approval, Dela Rosa said, “today, we translate into practice the credo of our former President Ramon A. Magsaysay who was also a former member of the Philippine Army, and I quote: “I believe that he who has less in life should have more in law.”
An elated Dela Rosa thanked his colleagues for supporting the measure. “Sa araw na ito, pinatunayan natin na tayong mga senador ay hinalal upang ipagtanggol ang “maliliit” – literally and figuratively, Mr. President. Our people expect no shortcomings from us. Indeed, there is no tall order that cannot be conquered. Maraming salamat po sa pagbibigay ninyo ng pag-asa at oportunidad para sa mga nakararami nating kababayan upang makapaglingkod ng tapat at buong puso sa bayan.”