President Duterte has signed into law the measure 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 the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11549 or the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality Act on May 26, 2021.
Under the new law, male applicants of these law enforcement agencies must now be at least 1.57 meters or 5'1" in height while the minimum height requirement for female applicants is 1.52 meters or 4.9".
Prior to the signing of the measure, the minimum height requirement for male applicants was 1.62 meters or 5'3" while it was 1.57 meters or 5'1" for female applicants.
The law also provides that a waiver for height requirements be automatically granted to applicants belonging to cultural communities/indigenous peoples. The new applicant must be at least 21 years old but not over 40 years of age.
In September last year, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said a lot of people were waiting for this bill to be passed in Congress.
"Adjusting our height requirements by a mere few inches will open up a large pool of promising new public service applicants," he said.
Zubiri, the principal author of the bill, said a good public servant is not defined by sex, age, class, faith, and definitely not by height.
"We have so many selfless and patriotic citizens who want to serve the country, but have been institutionally barred from doing so because they're a few inches short of the standard," he lamented.
"This is a waste of skill, determination, and passion for service," he added.