Philippine Star - Senate scraps height requirement for cops, firemen by Christina Mendez

The Senate has passed on third and final reading a bill seeking to waive the height requirement for applicants who want to join the police force, fire protection and jail management and penology bureaus.

Voting 19 in favor with no abstention, the Senate passed Senate Bill 3127.

As chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and prohibited drugs, Sen. Gregorio Honasan II introduced the measure.

The senators who voted for the approval of the proposed measure were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto, and Senators Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Frank Drilon, Chiz Escudero, T.G. Guingona, Honasan, Ping Lacson, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Bongbong Marcos, Serge Osmeña, Koko Pimentel, Ralph Recto, Bong Revilla Jr., Sonny Trillanes and Manny Villar.

“Heightism or discrimination based on height is a reality today that has been practice among law enforcement agencies in the country,” Honasan said.

He said the proposed legislation seeks to repeal the height requirement imposed in Section 30 (h) of Republic Act 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Act of 1990, as amended by RA 1998.

As provided in RA 1998, known as the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, the height must be at least 1.62 meters for men and 1.57 meters for women.

“Height discrimination unnecessarily limits quality choice while promoting social injustice. Height may be a consideration in tasks requiring certain physical activities but not all who are short are physically, much less intellectually, impaired,” Honasan said.

“The Philippine Constitution affirms the principles of employment and non-discrimination. While it is right for hiring institutions to employ people for their intellect, for their drive and for what they can bring to the organization, it is wrong to deny them for reasons of creed, color, culture, gender identity or height,” Honasan said.