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Cops told to remove visible tattoos to keep professional image

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 23,2024 - 06:21 PM

visible tattoos

Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) uniformed personnel | Police Regional Office 7 FB Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Policemen with visible tattoos even when wearing their uniform must remove their body art to maintain a professional image.

This was the instruction stated in Memorandum Circular 2024-023 regulating the bearing and sporting of tattoos among law enforcers, applicants, and cadets in the academy.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), explained that this memorandum was issued by the leadership of the Philippine National Police last March 19.

According to Pelare, this new policy requires officers in active duty to have their tattoos removed if it is not hidden by their uniforms.


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“Kining mga tattoo nga dili macover sa uniform, meaning to say visible when a police officer is wearing his uniform, there is a directive for the removal of these tattoos. But those which are covered already, dili na i-remove. But police officers having tattoos will need to execute an affidavit regarding the tattoos nga naa sa ilaha unya di na pud sila magdugang,” Pelare said.

Meanwhile, tattoos that may be hidden by the police uniform may not be removed. Instead, officers are to submit an affidavit disclosing the number and location of the tattoos on their bodies.

In addition to this, law enforcers must promise not to have additional body art.

Pelare also disclosed that there is already a policy on the prohibition of tattoos on individuals who wish to join the police force. The new policy, however, covers active policemen who had their tattoos after joining.


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“And I’d like to emphasize also that katong mga new recruits who will be joining the PNP, they should not be having tattoos. Because that is the directive now of the Philippine National Police,” he said.

In light of this directive, Pelare emphasized that the goal is not to discriminate individuals with tattoos but to make sure that their personnel continue to have an image of professionalism.

“The PNP respects freedom of expression. If it’s art to you then we respect that. But for all members of the PNP, we have rules and regulations to follow. And when you enter the PNP, they know already that we have strict regulations, especially in maintaining our image of professionalism and propriety especially when you’re wearing the uniform,” he stated.

Furthermore, Pelare said that those who will be found in violation of this new policy will be facing sanctions and possible administrative charges.

“We encourage those who will be affected to just follow the rules and regulations by the PNP…We are not saying that having tattoos is bad. We are just saying that when you join the PNP, there are strict regulations that we need to follow,” he added.

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TAGS: cops, tattoos

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