Over 3,000 policemen assigned to Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame, or half the force there, are overweight and will have to undergo an eight-week slimming program.
Nearly one in 10 policemen at the camp in Quezon City were also found to be obese.
The findings prompted PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome Jr. to warn the 145,000-strong nationwide force they could lose their jobs if they were not physically fit.
“According to PNP regulations, failed Physical Fitness Test ratings are grounds for separation from the service,” said PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr.
All PNP personnel are required to undergo a physical fitness test twice a year to determine if they are in shape to perform police work.
The test involves a middle-distance run, pullups, pushups and situps, as well as an electrocardiogram and body mass indexing.
An overweight adult has a body mass index of between 25 and 29.9. The BMI is a measure of one’s body fat computed based on his or her weight and height. An adult is obese if he or she has a BMI of 30 and more.
Malacañang on Saturday expressed concern over the finding that more than half of the policemen at Camp Crame were overweight.
“We understand that, yes, half of our policemen, I think, that are assigned to Camp Crame are overweight and, of course, this is a point of concern,” said Valte over state-run radio station dzRB.
“It’s not really for the weight but it’s more for the health because if one’s overweight, according to the [Department of Health], there’s a greater risk of heart attacks and other diseases, so it’s better to be physically fit and healthy,” she said.
The Palace expressed support for the eight-week weight-loss program the PNP launched on Friday.
“We are happy the PNP launched the…eight-week program for these policemen so they can shed the holiday weight they’ve been lugging around since Christmas,” Valte joked.
According to the PNP Health Service, 3,283 officers and employees at its national headquarters were overweight while 588 were obese. The PNP has a total of 6,253 personnel assigned to Camp Crame out of more than 145,000 nationwide.
The health service also said that 2,376 camp personnel had normal weights, while six were underweight.
Originaly posted on: Jun 10, 2012 @ 8:54 p.m.