No schooling, promotion for obese police officers

Since December 2019, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been monitoring the Body Mass Index (BMI) of all police personnel on a monthly basis to ensure they are keeping within their ideal body weight pursuant to a directive from PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa.

Those who are not within the ideal BMI range are either told to reduce their weight by two kilos a month or increase their weight to be eligible for schooling and possible promotion, Catanduanes Police Provincial Director Col. Paul F. Abay said.

However, he clarified, only a few police officers are not in compliance with the BMI requirement.

He also stated that non-compliance by the lower-ranked officers will also have a negative effect on the performance ratings of police chiefs and the provincial director.

On the other hand, Abay added, there is no truth to the claim that failure to abide by the BMI requirement would result in the filing of an administrative charge for neglect of duty.

AS PART OF THEIR PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM, personnel of the San Andres municipal police station led by PCapt Emsol E. Icawat engaged in “policeteniks” at the poblacion, including these steep stairs leading to the municipal building. CATPPO photo

The command set the benchmark in December last year, with all personnel from those at Camp Camacho down to the police stations joining weigh-ins and the computation of their individual BMIs, with the records and supporting pictures sent to the provincial office.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A person’s weight in kilograms divided by a person’s height in meters squared yields the BMI in kg/m².

According to experts, a BMI of less than 18.5 is considered underweight while those between 18.5 to 24.9 are considered normal. A BMI between 25-29.9 is considered overweight while those who have more than 30 BMI are considered obese.

Under international standards, a person with a height of five feet and six inches (1.68 meters) should have a maximum weight of 159 pounds (72.3 kilos).

Lt. Gen. Gamboa announced last week that the PNP has adjusted the BMI international standard as it was too difficult for most policemen to comply with, considering their age.

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