Cebu News

No promotion for fat cops

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Chubby policemen in Cebu City may have to shed some pounds if they want their applications for promotion approved.

Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Engelbert Soriano said the national headquarters wants the Body Mass Index (BMI) policy among policemen strictly implemented in the country.

BMI is the numerical value of the weight in relation to height, classifying a person as normal, underweight, overweight, or obese.

“Ang policy na nakarating sa akin ay before ka mag-undergo ng schooling -- halimbawa mag-aaply ng schooling, kung hindi ka pumasa sa BMI ay hindi ka ia-approve (The policy that reached me is that if you want to apply for schooling, you need to pass BMI so your application would be approved),” Soriano told reporters yesterday.

He added that the same policy shall be applied when police personnel seek promotion.

Asked when CCPO will start the strict enforcement of the policy, Soriano said it will be immediate.

However, he pointed out that BMI has been a long-standing policy in the PNP.

“Kaya malaking issue yan sa amin, pero meron kaming indexing kami regularly (That’s why that is a major challenge for us. But CCPO is conducting regular indexing among its personnel),” he said.

He also admitted that the number of obese cops in Cebu City is rising, thus there is a need to push for BMI policy even harder, he said.

Soriano added that in line with their strict BMI checking, even some of those fit-looking PNP personnel have been categorized as obese based on the results of their indexing.

“Ang strikto ng measures, that’s why we are doing our best,” he said.

Soriano said that the Regional Health Services of the Police Regional Office-7 conducts a regular BMI check every semester but the check has become even more routine nowadays.

Soriano, a self-confessed advocate for physical fitness, said he is also encouraging his men to take the cue and be physically fit as well.

On a personal note, he said that it is important for a policeman to be physically fit to be able to move freely. Being physically fit could lead to efficiency at work, he said.

“Ang healthy na individual, yung disposition mo malamig, yung pasensya mo, yung tolerance mo mahaba (A healthy person is cool-headed; his patience and tolerance are high),” Soriano said.

While the CCPO chief clarified that being obese doesn't make a policeman less of a law enforcer, he said that physical fitness is also an indication of self-discipline.

Soriano urged his men to start exercising as soon as possible, or just in time for their deployment to secure the Sinulog this year.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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