The Philippine Police Force has won the battle for the Bulge, as the body fat rule has been repealed.
According to an official document released Tuesday, Philippine police have won a battle against obesity after the department temporarily halted a requirement for officers seeking advancement to fulfill body fat levels.
For years, the Southeast Asian country’s police force has struggled with expanding waistlines. According to a 2019 research, nearly 35% of employees were overweight, with about 10% being obese.
Former police chief Debold Sinas, who has openly acknowledged his own struggles to lose weight through diet and exercise, made it mandatory for the 220,000 members of the force to work out everyday and submit monthly body mass index (BMI) readings at the onset of the pandemic.
Officers who failed to achieve BMI targets were barred from rising through the ranks, according to personnel chief Major General Rolando Hinanay.
Hinanay requested that the restriction be suspended in a memo to his newly appointed supervisor, reed-thin police chief General Guillermo Eleazar.
He claimed that the limits imposed by Covid-19 made it impossible for officers to exercise and reduce weight.
As a result, several employees were ineligible for promotion, according to Hinanay.
Eleazar told reporters on Tuesday that he had granted the request.
“Thousands of our employees require sympathy and understanding as they go about their work enforcing minimal public health safety routine 24 hours a day, seven days a week” during the pandemic, according to Eleazar.
“However, the suspension is only temporary, and it will be reinstated once things return to normal.”
To be eligible for service, officers must have a BMI of 18.5 to 27, depending on their age. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is generally considered a “healthy weight.”
Disgruntled officers had filed a petition claiming the policy was “detrimental” and “a form of discrimination against individuals with BMIs over the normal range.”
Officers have been sent to training camps or assigned to less attractive positions in the past to force them to lose weight.