President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill lowering the height requirement for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other uniformed services.

Duterte on Wednesday approved Republic Act 11549, lowering the minimum height requirement to 1.57 meters (5 feet 2 inches) for males and 1.52 meters (5 feet) for females in the police force, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Corrections.

Previously, the height requirement was 1.62 meters (5 feet 4 inches) for males and 1.57 meters (5 feet 2 inches).

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar welcomed the new law.

“[P]olice’s service to the nation cannot be measured by height. One’s height or physical appearance should never be a hindrance to a person’s desire to join the uniformed services,” he said in a statement.

“Hindi naman po sa height nakikita kung anong klase kang pulis, kung hindi sa tapat at malinis na pagsisilbi sa bayan,” he added.

The new law will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of general circulation. John Ezekiel J. Hirro