The House of Representatives on Monday approved on second reading a measure seeking to lower the height requirement for applicants to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The chamber, through voice voting, passed House Bill 8261, or the proposed PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality Act.

Under the bill, the minimum height requirement for male applicants in these law enforcement agencies will be lowered from 1.62 meters (5’3) to 1.57 meters (5’1).

For female applicants, the requirement of 1.57 meters (5’1) will be lowered to 1.52 meters (4’9).

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, one of the authors of the bill, said the current height requirements enforced for those who want to serve in the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor are discriminatory.

Villafuerte said the proposed bill seeks to ensure that every Filipino, regardless of height, will be given the opportunity to be a member of the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor and have the chance to serve and protect the country and its citizens.

“The intention of this bill is to simply repeal the minimum height requirements for applicants to the PNP, BFP, and BJMP with the belief that each person has the right to equal employment opportunity,” Villafuerte said.

It removes the waiver for height requirement for applicants belonging to indigenous groups and cultural communities.

The Senate has already approved on third and final reading a counterpart bill authored by Senator and former PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa and backed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. (PNA)