Philippines opens door to shorter officers

Shorter people now have a chance to rise to the highest positions in the Philippines armed forces after the country's top military academy lowered its height requirement on Friday.

The head of the Philippine Military Academy, Major General Nonato Peralta said the elite institution would now admit male and female students who were at least five feet (1.52 metres) tall.

The previous requirement was five feet, four inches for men and five feet, two inches for women and brings the academy into line with the rest of the military, which introduced the five-foot rule in 2009.

"With the previous height requirement, many Filipino youth who had a good educational background and were physically fit, were disenfranchised from the opportunity of being able to take the entrance examination," he said.

In the past, shorter applicants had to petition a member of congress to have the height requirement waived.

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