Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano does not support a pending proposal in the House of Representatives to scrap the “no-tattoo” rule for aspiring policemen.
According to Ano, the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an organization enforcing the laws of the land must mirror an image worthy of the Filipino people's, especially the youth's trust and emulation, and policemen with tattoos do not register a clean and dignified image.
"Call it old school, but the police service should not only deliver excellent law enforcement service but should be comprised of men and women who acknowledge that they are role models to the people and the youth," he says.
The DILG Chief was reacting to a controversial proposal in Congress stating that tattoos shouldn't be a basis for the entry of well-meaning individuals in the police organization.
Ano says that though having a tattoo does not hinder the exercise of a police officer's duties, it cannot be discounted that it creates an impression associated with thugs and law offenders which the PNP cannot afford especially now that it is working to gain public trust and cooperation in its anti-crime and anti-illegal drugs efforts.
"We want our police to look dignified, wearing proper uniform, and with no tattoos,” he says.
The DILG OIC says the “no-tattoo” rule also complements the PNP’s ongoing “Tamang Bihis” campaign which mandates policemen to wear and use only the prescribed police uniforms, insignias and other accoutrements from accredited suppliers.
PNP Memorandum Circular No. 2014-010 states that "the Recruitment Officer shall initially conduct a visual physical inspection for presence of tattoos and noticeable deformities of the applicant".
The PNP Academy lists tattoo and other brotherhood marks as one of the grounds for medical disqualification.