PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa expressed disagreement on Monday, April 2, over the proposed removal of the "no tattoo" rule as a requirement upon entering the police force.
Dela Rosa said it is not that they are discriminating people with tattoos, but they just want to maintain the tradition.
"Meron kaming standing policy diyan na bawal talaga mag-recruit 'yung mga may tattoo, pero hindi namin sila nire-reject outright. Sabi namin, 'Gusto mo talaga mag-pulis? Umuwi ka, tanggalin mo 'yung tattoo mo. Kung tago siguro okay lang, pero makikita pa rin 'yan paghubad nila doon sa Health Service...'Yung medical exam lahat 'yan dahil hubad, so advice pa rin natin na tanggalin nila 'yung tattoo nila," he said.
"Basta kami, we are just being traditional kasi 'pag mawala 'yung standard ng PNPA (Philippine National Police Academy) like shaving your mustache, ang pangit tingnan 'pag pulis naka-uniporme, hindi nakagupit. Part of the grooming 'yan eh. Hindi nakapag-shave, ang pangit tingnan, 'di ba? How much more kung maraming tattoo dito, baka sabihin criminal ba itong pulis na 'to," he added.
Dela Rosa, however, clarified that he understands that having tattoo by this time is already a form of self expression and artistry, but not for the PNP.
"Pasensya na sa mga may tattoo. Alam ko you will invoke your right to express your artistic desires. Art sa inyo, sa amin taboo," he said.
"Prangkahan tayo... 'Pag nakikita exposed dahil pangit nga, parang criminal naman tingnan, 'di ba, sa kulungan puro may tattoo tapos ang pulis ganon din. Para namang ex-convict ang pulis 'pag naka-uniporme na maraming tattoo," he added.
Earlier, Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles earlier encouraged the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to remove their "no tattoo" in their recruitment requirements, as it is "quite archaic" and seem to be judgmental.
"I know a lot of people who have been declined application into the service on the basis of their having tattoos. They said that it felt unfair to be rejected and I can't help but agree with them," he said.
"Like the nonsensical minimum height requirement of at least five feet for both the military and police service, the no tattoo rule must be done away with for the simple reason that it is not a good measure of one's capabilities or heart on the battlefield," he added.
The lawmaker said as long as the applicant is physically fit, with good moral character and no criminal record, he should not be denied the right to serve the country. (SunStar Philippines)