PNP upholds tattoo ban for police service entry

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In 2024, tattoos remain a barrier to employment with the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 recently reiterated the PNP’s directive that restricts tattoos among its personnel, candidates, and even academy cadets.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Solis, the spokesperson for PRO-6, stated that the policy prohibiting police applicants with tattoos was in place before the release of Memorandum Circular 2024-023.

“Applicants with tattoos will not be accepted,” he declared.

Issued in March 2024, MC 2024-023 mandates that all officers with tattoos submit a written affidavit documenting their tattoos and remove any that are visible.

Colonel Jean Fajardo, the PNP spokesperson, announced on Monday that those with tattoos must disclose the designs.

However, this is contingent upon the publication of the memorandum circular.

Furthermore, the policy forbids additional tattoos, particularly in areas not covered by the uniform. It also bans tattoos that represent extremist ideology or symbolize indecency, racism, and sexism.

While the exclusion of tattooed candidates is longstanding, Solis noted that they are awaiting the official guidelines for MC 2024-023.

“Once we receive a copy of it, we will understand how to properly implement it concerning police personnel with existing tattoos,” he said.

Notably, the memorandum exempts cosmetic tattoos, such as those on eyebrows and lips. The move to issue the memorandum followed observations of some individuals getting tattoos in areas not covered by the uniform.

Officers with non-compliant tattoos will have three months to remove them, after which they may face administrative charges for non-compliance.


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