Bill seeks to scrap PNP height requirement

Jonathan de Santos
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Short but strong? You may now get your chance to become a policeman.

Senator Gregorio Honasan II has filed a bill to scrap the height requirement for Philippine National Police officers, saying it is discriminatory.

Under the current law, a male PNP officer have to be at least 1.62 meters (5'3") tall while female police officers must be at least 1.57 meters (5'1") tall.

"Although measures are being taken to correct the situation, heightism is still practiced in the Philippine National Police to the disadvantage particularly of minority or indigenous persons seeking employment who may have genetic make-ups different from other Filipinos," he said.

He said the height requirement violates both the Philippine Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. Honasan said the height requirement must be repealed "on the principle that all people have equal rights to be employed unhampered by prejudices that have nothing to do with one's merit or competence to do the work."

"Height discrimination unnecessarily limits quality choice while promoting social prejudice," Honasan said.

He said that although physical impairment could disqualify candidates to the PNP, "not all who are short are physically, much less intellectually, impaired."

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, which Honasan chairs.