STOCKY, NOT FAT. Cordillera policemen wearing the native attire stand in attention during an event at the regional headquarters. The Police Regional Office Cordillera is asking the national headquarters to make a different measurement applicable to the stocky built of the Cordilleran. (PNA file photo by Liza T. Agoot)

CAMP DANGWA, LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) has recommended to the national headquarters a different way of measuring the bodies of Igorot policemen who are born stocky compared to other personnel in the country.

“We recommended na yung measuring magiging wrist, chest at saka age na siyang dapat i-consider (We recommended that the measurement be done by getting the wrist, chest, and age),” which is reflective of the typical body frame of the Cordilleran, Brig. Gen. R’Win Pagkalinawan, PROCOR regional director told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.

He said to determine if a person is obese or overweight is based on the weight and height of a person, which does not apply to the Cordilleran whose natural body built is small and stocky with big bones.

The current system of getting the body mass index (BMI) would make many Cordillerans obese or overweight.

Sa BMI kasi, 52 percent lang ng aming personnel ang pumasa (In the BMI, only 52 percent of our personnel passes),” Pagkalinawan said.

“Although cops in the Cordillera are physically fit,” even if they are overweight, Pagkalinawan said, adding the BMI issue was raised during the visit of PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa to PROCOR last week.

Upon his assumption as officer-in-charge of the PNP, Gamboa ordered policemen nationwide to be physically fit and slim to be able to properly discharge their functions in running after criminal elements.

He said while the Cordilleran is considered overweight by BMI standards, they are healthy and strong in trekking the mountains.

"Ang mga Cordilleran stocky pero walang tiyan, yun ang standard natin na malalakas sa lakaran (Cordilleran are stocky but no flabs, that's our standard of being strong, someone who can walk for miles),” Pagkalinawan said.

He said PROCOR's health service regularly monitors the weight of the personnel and updates their record.

Pagkalinawan said they hope the national headquarters will approve their proposal and apply it to all Cordilleran police personnel assigned to other regions.

Failing the BMI will prevent a police officer from applying for promotion and can be a cause for separation from service for failing to pass the requirement, Pagkalinawan said.

Siyempre gusto nating itaas yung passing. Sana bigyan tayo ng consideration para umakyat ng kahit mga 70 percent. Malaking bagay na yun (Of course, we’d like to increase the passing rate. We hope that they give us a consideration to hike the passing rate by at least 70 percent. That's a big deal),” he said. (With a report from Corwin Lucas Golonan, OJT/PNA)