REP. GARCIA REFILES BILL ABOLISHING HEIGHT REQUIREMENT FOR COPS, FIREMEN AND JAIL PERSONNEL

CEBU CITY, Philippines- Cebu 3rd district Congressman Pablo John Garcia has refiled his bill that seeks to abolish the height requirement for policemen applicants, jail personnel and firemen. House Bill (HB) 2242 “PNP, BFP and BJMP Height Equality Act of 2019” repeals sections of laws that set minimum height requirements for applicants to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Garcia earlier filed a similar bill in 2012 but former Pres. Benigno Aquino lll vetoed it when it reached for signing into law in 2013. Cong. Garcia explained that height should not be a hindrance to those who wanted to be policemen, jail personnel and firemen. The minimum height requirement stands at 5’4 for male and 5’2 for female.

Hereunder is the press release of Cong. PJ Garcia./AAJ

 

PRESS RELEASE 28 July 2019 Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) has re-filed his bill abolishing the height requirement for those applying to become police, fire and jail officers. What will be known as the “PNP, BFP and BJMP Height Equality Act of 2019” repeals sections of laws that set minimum height requirements for applicants to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

“Height, or the lack thereof, should not be a hindrance to serving the people like police, fire or jail officers. There is absolutely no empirical evidence that people who possess the mandated minimum height would be more effective and efficient police, jail or fire officers than those who do not. In fact, in the case of the police, for instance, the most important qualities and skills needed – investigation and detection skills, case buildup, community relations, etc. – have absolutely nothing to do with height,”

Garcia said in his explanatory note of House Bill No. 2242. Garcia further said, “the height requirement unduly limits the PNP, BFP, and BJMP in their pool of potential recruits. There may be more qualified and competent people worthy of employment who do not qualify simply because they fail to make the height requirement.

”He first introduced a similar bill in 2012 when he was chairman of the House committee on public order and safety. The bill, together with its counterpart in the Senate, was approved on final reading but then-president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III vetoed the consolidated version in 2013.

“I am seriously apprehensive of the concerns propounded by the PNP and BJMP in the safety of their personnel in the performance of their duties, as well as public safety in general,” Aquino said in his veto message. However, during the committee hearing of Garcia’s 2012 bill, the BFP submitted a position paper that called out “heightism” or the preference of law enforcement agencies for taller people. Officials appearing for the PNP were unable to present a scientific basis to set the minimum height.

Laws governing the three agencies mandate that males have to be at least 1.62 meters tall (about 5’4”) while females need to be at least 1.57 meters (about 5’2”) to be able to apply unless they are “members of cultural communities” in which case they are issued waivers. Since former president Aquino vetoed his bill six years ago, Garcia said he has received several Facebook and text messages asking when he would re-file it. Reference: Rep. PJ Garcia (0918) 818-1688