In the Philippines, weight gain could undermine career options in the police force. The rules, introduced last year, required agents to maintain a certain level of physical fitness to be promoted, but the pandemic changed everything.
The pandemic forced gyms to close and forced people to spend more time at home, prompting a change in police policy adopted in the Philippines last year.
The rules required agents to maintain a certain level of physical fitness – measured by the body mass index (BMI) – to be promoted, but the pandemic changed everything. After several police officers complained and filed several petitions, the rules were suspended.
A Vice writes that, in the argument, officers highlighted the restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, which limited physical activity and posed challenges for police personnel to achieve or maintain their ideal BMI.
According to the guidelines, the BMI was considered “normal” if it was between 18.5 to 24.9. Now, an “acceptable” BMI by Philippine National Police (PNP) standards ranges between 24.9 and 27.
The classification is more lenient than national guidelines, which consider a BMI of 25 or more to be “first-level obesity”.
The reactions in the country diverged. Some people did not agree with the suspension, making a connection between physical fitness and work discipline. “I don’t understand why the PNP has to resort to suspending the BMI requirement. Discipline must be essential, especially in this field of work”, read a tweet, highlighted by Vice.
“Large cops show laziness and no discipline“, tweetou another user on the same social network.
There were also positive reactions, namely in the Facebook. “It’s a sure move. O BMI has nothing to do with history. of services of a policeman. The rule is discriminative. It’s unfair,” wrote one user.
However, this suspension seems to be just a short break as a rule, it should be reinstated when covid-19 allows it.