Why PNP is bent on institutionalizing BMI program

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa is keen on institutionalizing his BMI or Body Mass Index policy as part of his program to have policemen with proper bearing so that they could be more fit and credible in carrying out their day-to-day duties.

The PNP chief is hell-bent on erasing the presence of ‘obese’ and pot-bellied policemen or those with bulging abdomen in the future that he wants personnel classified as ‘obese’ to be excluded from mandatory schooling while ‘overweight’ policemen maybe allowed to undergo schooling provided he/she attains the normal BMI before the completion of the course.

However in special cases, overweight personnel with good body physique shall be evaluated by the BMI Board. Gen. Gamboa also wants BMI as a requirement for promotion and entry to the PNP thru the PNP Lateral Entry and PNP Recruitment Programs

This comes in the wake of a PNP Health Service 2018 report which showed that of the 40-years old and above police personnel who underwent the Annual Physical Examination that year, 73.64 percent turned out to be overweight.

Add to it the findings in October 2019 that only 47.1 percent of the police force are with normal BMI. Thus, the need for a properly implemented BMI program to support the physical fitness program of the police force and at the same time promote a more healthy lifestyle among its officers and men.

Initially, the PNP Acceptable BMI Classification is 24.9 for 29-years old and below; 25.0 for 30-34 years old and below; 25.5 for 35-39 years old; 26.0 for 40 to 44-years old; 26.5 for 45 to 50-years old; and 27.0 for 51-years old and above.
    The PNP BMI Classification also ranks policemen as either severely underweight, underweight, normal, overweight and Obese Class 1,2 and 3.

In accordance with Gen. Gamboa’s program, all members of the police force are required to have their Individual BMI Monitoring Form which will be accomplished and submitted monthly and must be carried at all times in soft or hard copy. The individual policeman must also sign the correctness of its entries.

Gen. Gamboa has been marked as having an ‘Acceptable BMI by Age Premium.’ At age 55, the PNP chief’s BMI is 27. The top cop’s waistline is 104 cm., ideal for the official who stands at 1.70 meters and weighs 78 kilograms.

PNP Director for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, Major Gen. Amador V. Corpus said that since the program was started, they have recorded that 19,664 of the 158,848 policemen who complied with the policy or 28.14 percent have lost two kilograms.

Using the 2019 baseline figures, the official said that in December 2019, a total of 100,748 policemen were found to be having normal BMI while 82,247 were not normal.

Last January, 99,060 policemen were found to be having normal BMI while 79,357 didn’t have. Last February, 108,876 policemen were classified as having normal BMI while 75,995 didn’t.

Corpus cited a number of BMI success stories so far. One of them, Corporal Marvin Suson of the Police Regional Office 10 lost 10.45 kilos after enrolling in a PRO10 15-Day health and fitness program.

There is also the case of Police Senior Master Sergeant Al-Macnun Hadani of the PRO9 who weighed 86 kilograms last year before reducing to 72 kilograms due to a 3-month similar program.

As recommended by the PNP Health Service, overweight and obese policemen need to lose an average of two kilos each month for five months.

The PNP recommended weight loss of 1.5 to 2 kgs per month is based on a study by the National Institute of Health and the National Health, Lung and Blood Institute that “the rate of weight loss should be 1 to 2 pounds each week. Greater rates of weight loss do not achieve better long-term results.” Hence, PNP medical experts limited the maximum weight loss to 2 kgs per month.

Corpus said that proposed measures and sanctions on non-BMI-compliant policemen includes charging him for less grave neglect of duty should he refuse to submit for BMI measurement or failed to have a soft copy of his individual BMI monitoring form in his/her cellphone.

At the end of the 1st semester of 2020, all overweight personnel with unsatisfactory compliance will be assigned to respective Administrative Holding Unit to undergo the necessary intervention program. At the end of every quarter, all overweight personnel with unsatisfactory compliance will be charged for less grave neglect of duty.

On the other hand, there is a proposal to sanction accordingly all chiefs of police, station commanders, company commanders of provincial mobile forces as well as provincial city and regional directors with unsatisfactory BMI compliance.

The proposal is that the relief of three Chiefs of Police, Station Commanders or Company Commanders of Provincial Mobile Force for the same reason will cause the relief of the Provincial, City or District Directors.

The relief of three PDs/CDs and DDs will cause the relief of the Regional Director too, according to the proposed recommendation.

As part of the corrective program, all PNP personnel who failed to attain a normal BMI or PNP Health Service-recommended program shall undergo a fitness package program certified by the HS after medical and physical evaluation which they must perform and strictly comply with.

If the PNP personnel failed to attain his/her ideal BMI within the end of the period of the fitness package, he/she shall undergo an extended program. During the extended program, he/she shall be assigned to an Administrative Holding Unit until he/she accomplishes her ideal BMI.