DILG rejects House scrapping of ‘no tattoo’ rule for cops

Published April 4, 2018, 9:00 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año has rejected the pending proposal at the House of Representatives scrapping the “no-tattoo” rule for the police.

DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)

​​Año insisted the Philippine National Police (PNP), as an organization enforcing the laws of the land, must mirror an image worthy of the Filipino people, especially the youth’s trust and emulation, and policemen with tattoos do not register a clean and dignified image.
“Call it old school, but the police service should not only deliver excellent law enforcement service but should be comprised of men and women who acknowledge that they are role models to the people and the youth,” Año said.

He issued the statement in reaction to a controversial proposal in Congress stating that tattoos shouldn’t be a basis for the entry of well-meaning individuals into the police organization.

The DILG chief admitted that having a tattoo does not hinder the exercise of a police officer’s duties but “it cannot be discounted that it creates an impression associated with thugs and law offenders.

He maintained that the PNP cannot afford such misconception especially now that it is working to gain public trust and cooperation in its anti-crime and anti-illegal drugs efforts.

“We want our police to look dignified, wearing proper uniform, and with no tattoos,” he added.

He maintained the “no-tattoo” rule also complements the PNP’s ongoing “Tamang Bihis” campaign which mandates policemen to wear and use only the prescribed police uniforms, insignias, and other accoutrements from accredited suppliers.

PNP Memorandum Circular No. 2014-010 states that “the Recruitment Officer shall initially conduct a visual physical inspection for presence of tattoos and noticeable deformities of the applicant”.

The PNP Academy lists tattoo and other brotherhood marks as one of the grounds for medical disqualification.