Press Release
March 15, 2021


Mr. President, on behalf of the Senate Panel to the Bicameral Conference Committee on the Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No. 1563 and House Bill No. 8261 or "AN ACT LOWERING 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), AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6975, AS AMENDED, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9263, AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10575, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" I have the honor to report to the Body the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the reconciled measure.

Instead of reading the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Bicameral Conference Committee Report, may I be allowed to present the highlights of the reconciled bill and that the Joint Explanation be inserted and considered read into the Record.

I would like to inform the Body that the Senate version of the bill was adopted as the working draft.

The version agreed upon by the Bicameral Conference Committee remain true to the objective of the bill passed in this chamber.

We retained the uniform height requirement for the PNP applicants including PNPA Cadets as stated in the Senate version of the bill. The PNP supported the Senate version and submitted their written objection on the version of the House of Representatives. The PNP stated that there is no cogent reason for cadets of the PNPA to be treated differently from other uniformed members of the PNP with respect to height requirements since PNPA graduates perform the same function as other Police Commissioned Officers.

The reconciled version of the bill also adopted the Senate version on the retention of the automatic waiver for members of the cultural minorities and Indigenous People. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples also put forward that the retention of said waiver is a significant step to address discrimination in the admission or appointment of uniformed personnel.

Mr. President, in the eyes of Our Creator, we are created equal. However, in the eyes of man, we are measured based on our appearance, capabilities and talents. In the provisions of the law, we seek the furtherance of equity.

This Chamber can be a vehicle to limit or prohibit many things. But today we have chosen to become a key in opening the gates of public service. We welcome those who may be less in height but possess the biggest of hearts for the service of the country.

Gaya po ng aking naunang deklarasyon, hindi po natin binababa ang standard na kailangan para makapagsilbi bilang pulis, firefighter, jail at correction officers. Ninanais po natin mabigyan ng pagkakataon makapagsilbi ang mga hindi nabiyayaan ng katangkaran.

Courage, dedication and willingness to sacrifice one's life for the service of the others cannot be measured by height nor by any physical characteristics given by the unseen hand of our Supreme Being.

Once again, thank you for giving equal opportunity for those who have not been gifted the height to be a member of our uniformed personnel.

I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the Senate Panel for their contributions: Majority Floor Leader Senator Migz Zubiri, Senator Imee Marcos, Senator Bong Go, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Tol Tolentino, who at one point in time supported the house panel version that reinvigorated the House panel's push for the adoption of their version, but was properly enlightened and convinced and supported our Senate Panel version.

Muli, maraming salamat po!

MOTION: Mr. President, I respectfully move that we approve the Conference Committee Report on the Disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1563 and House Bill No. 8261 as submitted.

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