Philippine National Police

PNP summons nearly 4,000 overweight cops in Northern Mindanao

Herbie Gomez

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PNP summons nearly 4,000 overweight cops in Northern Mindanao


Northern Mindanao police chief Brigadier General Benjamin Acorda Jr. says the cops – over 40% of the region's police force – will undergo a weight loss program and get professional help

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northern Mindanao warned nearly 4,000 overweight cops in the region that their obesity would not only harm their health but may also cost them professionally – unless they shed pounds.

Northern Mindanao police officials were alarmed after they checked their data on personnel and realized that the number of their overweight members had increased during the two-year COVID-19 pandemic that was characterized by months of lockdowns.

“This is something we are taking very seriously,” Northern Mindanao police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Olaivar said on Friday, July 8.

Officials blamed the problem mainly on overeating and unhealthy diets.

Olaivar said the PNP’s June data showed that 3,875 police officers throughout Northern Mindanao were “not within the prescribed BMI (body mass index),” the measure of body fat based on height and weight.

The number accounts for about 43% of cops in the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and nine cities, including regional center Cagayan de Oro.

Northern Mindanao police chief Brigadier General Benjamin Acorda Jr. ordered overweight cops to be summoned in batches to Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro where they would start undergoing a weight loss program and get professional help.

“Camp Alagar will be monitoring their progress. They have to lose weight or else, they would be summoned to undergo the same program over and over again. It would go on and on, and they would be inconvenienced by this,” Olaivar told Rappler.

Olaivar said the weight problems could delay promotions, and prevent the obese from taking more police career advancement courses.

“I know one who couldn’t get promoted because he has a problem with his BMI. So, it will take a toll on one’s health and professional career,” she said.

In extreme cases, police officers who don’t lose weight despite the warnings could even face administrative proceedings, Olaivar said. –

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Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.