Press Release
June 1, 2020


Senate Bill No. 1563
An Act Lowering the Minimum Height Requirement for Applicants of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Correction.

Mr. President, esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat:

William G. Bentrim in one of his books said that (quote) "Physical size cannot measure the ferocity and compassion of the heart, spirit and soul. Truly in the measure of a person, short or tall doesn't matter at all." (unquote)

Mr. President, it is my privilege to sponsor Senate Bill No. 1563 under Committee Report No. 95. This bill is entitled "An Act Lowering the Minimum Height Requirement for Applicants of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Correction, amending for the purpose Republic act No. 6975, as amended, Republic Act No. 8551, Republic Act No. 9263 and Republic Act No. 10575. "

Sabi sa commercial ng isang kilalang margarine, "Iba na ang matangkad!". Ang isang vitamins naman ang sabi "Tangkad Sagad!" Noon pa man, marami nang consumer products ang nagsasabi na mapapatangkad nila tayong mga Pilipino. Ngunit mukhang kahit gaano karaming margarine ang ating kainin, o inumin ang bote-boteng vitamins, mahihirapan tayong maabot ang height ni Lebron James o ni Michael Jordan. Genetically, sadyang may limitasyon ang height nating mga Filipino.

Mr. President, when the National Police Commission in 2018 declared that there shall be no height requirement for the Philippine National Police entrance exam applicants, it was positively accepted by our countrymen. Filipinos being known to be small but terrible (Terrible in a good way ha. If there is such. Just a figure of speech, Mr. President.) rejoiced at the thought that most of us might be accepted as police officers. However, the delight was short-lived as the height requirement for the PNP cannot be waived by the NaPolCom, as it is still written in stone which is the Republic Act No. 6975, as amended.

Mr. President, with that in mind, this representation and our good majority floor leader, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, filed legislative measures that seek to remove or repeal the height requirement for our uniformed personnel. We both reasoned that there should be equal employment opportunity for all regardless of height.

However, during the hearing conducted by your Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on February 12, 2020, the PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor, unanimously appealed not to remove the height requirement for their agencies, but to merely lower it to such level acceptable for them to effectively perform their given mandate. The PNP reasoned out that they need to maintain a minimum height requirement for their respective applicants for practical considerations in law enforcement and military operations. On one hand, BJMP manifested that height is a necessary requirement considering their daily exposure to persons deprived of liberty with various body builds, attitudes and behaviors. BuCor concurred. Additionally, BFP argued that they need to retain a minimum height requirement since they respond to fire incidents and emergencies. Their duty involves carrying of huge and heavy fire protection, suppression and rescue equipment and transporting of fire and emergency victims.

We listened to the agencies that will be tasked to implement the proposed legislation once enacted into law, Mr. President. Given their justification, the Committee decided to lower the height requirement for the applicants of PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor instead of removing the same as originally proposed. The approval of this bill will now allow said agencies to accept male applicants with 5 feet and 2 inches' height and female applicants with 5 feet height.

This compromise will still enable us to achieve the purpose of broadening the pool of prospective applicants and addressing the height equality as most of the Filipinos are within the height range of 5 feet. Waiver of height requirement for applicants belonging to the cultural communities will still be retained in consideration of the limits of genetic height potential.

Hindi po natin binababa ang standard na kailangan para makapagsilbi bilang pulis, firefighter, jail at correction officers. Ninanais lamang po nating mabigyan ng pagkakataong makapagsilbi ang mga hindi nabiyayaan ng katangkaran.

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. However, given the required mandate of our uniformed personnel, and for practicality in accomplishing tasks, we still need to retain a minimum height requirement so they can perform their duties and responsibilities exceptionally.

Given the aforementioned reasons, I urge this august body for the immediate approval of this measure.

Thank you.

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