Senators on Friday, May 28 welcomed President Duterte’s move to sign into law the Height Equality Act which lowers the height requirement for applications of aspiring policemen, firemen and other law enforcement positions.
Duterte signed the law, Republic Act No. 11549, lowering the height requirements for those who wish to apply as a member of the Philippine National Police ((PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
From the previous height restrictions of 5 feet 4 inches for males and 5 feet and 2 for females, it is now lowered to 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet, respectively.
The law, in the spirit of equity, also grants the automatic waiver of the height requirement for members of cultural minorities and indigenous peoples (IPs).
“These provisions are more welcoming and more accommodating to our vertically challenged countrymen who may not be blessed with height, but will stand tall to serve their people,” Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in a statement.
Dela Rosa, a former PNP chief, and primary sponsor of the measure, assured that the law only lowered the height requirements, “not the competence.”
“Every new applicant benefitting from this law shall still be subjected to the highest standards required to be a member of the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor,” the senator said.
“The highest degree of patriotism and honor shall still be expected of them,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, principal author of the bill said the signing of the bill into law “is great news for many Filipinos.”
“We have many fellow citizens who are waiting for this, and I am sure they are happy about this news,” Zubiri said.
Zubiri noted there are many Filipinos who wish to serve the country as policemen or firemen but do not pass the height requirements.
“Their applications are not entertained for the reason that they lack the height. That’s why we pushed hard for the passage of this bill so they can be given the chance at public service,” the majority leader said.