MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Saturday welcomed the “good news” that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved lowering the height limit for police and other uniformed personnel.
During his commentary show “Counterpoint,” Panelo said the country will have more competent law enforcers following the adjustment of height requirements.
“Magandang balita ito kasi hindi ba gustong pumasok ng pulis pero hindi nila makuha ‘yung taas (That is good news because many are aspiring to be police officers but they could not reach the height requirement),” Panelo said.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA)11549 which lowers the minimum height requirement for male applicants of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) from 1.62 meters (5-foot-3) to 1.57 meters (5-foot-1).
Female applicants standing at least 1.52 meters (4-foot-9) can now apply, down from the former 1.57-meter requirement.
Under the new law, a waiver for height requirements will be automatically granted to applicants belonging to cultural communities or indigenous peoples.
“Kung magagaling naman, [qualified] naman sa other requirements ng batas, bakit naman natin hindi papayagang magpulis? Sayang naman. Sayang ang talino. Sayang yung maaaring itulong nila (If they are competent and qualified based on the law’s requirements, why would we prohibit them from being a cop? Their intelligence and ability to help would go to waste, if they are not accepted),” Panelo said.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa, a former PNP chief, said RA 11459 merely lowered the height requirement for aspiring uniformed personnel but “not the competence.”
He said new applicants who will benefit from the new law would still be subject to the “highest standards required”.
“The highest degree of patriotism and honor shall still be expected of them,” he said in a statement. (PNA)