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BMI institutionalization for good of entire PNP—Sinas

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas, has underscored the need for all his officers and men to pass their ideal BMI weight before qualifying for promotion as part of their program to come up with physically and mentally-fit policemen tasked to combat criminality, drugs and terrorism in the country.

Sinas is leading by example since he himself lost a total of 20 kilograms or about 45 pounds while on his past few months as director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) before being designated by President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s 25th PNP chief.

The PNP chief said he is continuing the policy on Body Mass Index (BMI) started by former PNP chief, now retired Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa in order to erase the presence of ‘obese’ and pot-bellied policemen in the future.

Amid previous findings that nearly half of the country’s more than 205,000-strong police force are either overweight or obese, Gamboa required all members of the police force to be BMI-compliant. He also ordered that those who are not BMI-compliant won’t be allowed to go on schooling here and abroad and get other requirements needed for promotion to the next higher rank.

A non-BMI compliant policeman may also only get a ‘satisfactory’ performance rating that would disqualify him/her from receiving a government bonus.

The policy was aimed at ensuring that in the next two years, there will no longer be obese policemen in the streets, said PNP Director for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, Major Gen. Ferdinand O. Divina.

“Gen. Sinas has put emphasis on BMI as a requirement for promotion. He in fact set the example as he lost 20 kilos already. Thus, in the coming promotion of all police commissioned officers and police non-commissioned officers, BMI will be made as a requirement,” Divina said.

According to the PNP-DHRDD director, Sinas wants an honest-to-goodness implementation of the BMI policy for the good of the police force and the public as well.

The PNP chief emphasized his point when he met the DHRDD family which include the PNP Training Service, the PNP Academy, the National Police Training Institute to discuss his programs on training and promotion.

The formula is also simple: Once institutionalized, the PNP Training Institute will just strictly follow the ‘No Schooling/No Training for Obese Policemen.’ No schooling or training for a policeman means he will not qualify for promotion to the next higher rank.

Under the new policy, an obese policeman may be given a satisfactory rating only in their Individual Performance Evaluation Rating (IPER) which means no bonus.A policeman who will get a satisfactory rating for three consecutive times can be attrited from the police service too.

Divina said that as ordered by Sinas, they expect all members of the PNP to be physically fit since those who will not pass the BMI requirements will be forced to retire or be attributed.

The BMI policy will also compliment the PNP leadership’s desirve to have policemen who advocate a simple and healthy lifestyle.

The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 said that through the strict implementation of the BMI policy, there will be no more need for the PNP to conduct ‘pre-charge investigation and summary hearings’ which are all time-consuming.

At the NPTI headed by Brigadier Gen. Alex B. Sintin Jr., there is also a policy that a PNPTI student who is considered obese is given one month to lose weight by going thru weight reduction program. He can only graduate once he becomes successful in losing weight.

In the event the student fails to lose weight in one month, he can leave the training school without a diploma and return to get his graduation papers as soon as he passes the BMI requirement.

However, the PNP adjusted the standard figures in the BMI in order for the police to easily comply with it as a requirement for promotion and getting new assignments. The review and analysis of the BMI implementation before Gamboa showed that the BMI international standard is too rigid for policemen to comply with.

“It’s too cruel, that’s why we adjusted it in such a way that it is approved by the Philippine Association of Standards for Overweight and Obesity,” Gamboa said then.

For instance, the BMI international standard dictates that a person with five feet and six inches height must have a maximum weight of 159 pounds. But with the adjustment made by the PNP, a weight of 170 pounds will be set as a maximum BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women, according to local the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Using the metric system, it is computed via dividing a person’s weight expressed in kilogram by a person’s height in meters squared (or multiplying the height by itself), or BMI= kg/m².

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

Some factors were also considered in adjusting the BMI in the PNP, first of which is the age and the current weight of the policeman. The move was made to prevent the abrupt reduction of weight of an individual policeman since it will certainly have adverse effects on him especially to one that is not young anymore.

Based on the standard, the average weight that a person must reduce is two to three kilos a month.

Gen. Sinas put emphasis on the BMI-compliant police force in the wake of President Duterte and Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año’s directive to come up with generally fit policemen needed to chase criminals.