PMA expects record number of test takers SundayBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A record number of applicants nationwide is expected to take the entrance examinations for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) on Sunday.
In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday said that more than 20,000 individuals were expected to flock to PMA testing centers nationwide to vie for the limited number of slots in the country’s premier military school.
“We hope that with the significant headway in our modernization and capability upgrade programs, more (young Filipinos)… will be motivated to (join the PMA),” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa said.
“Recruitment in the PMA is an integrated effort by various AFP units and agencies to search… for the best candidates for PMA cadetship who will help us achieve a more professional, capable and responsive military organization,” he added.
PMA superintendent Maj. Gen. Nonato Peralta Jr. said the number of examinees this year could be the biggest since the military academy was established 114 years ago.
Peralta attributed the increase to the AFP’s decision to lower the minimum height requirement for PMA applicants and its strict implementation of the antihazing law at the academy.
From the previous 5’4” for male applicants and 5’2” for female applicants, the PMA brought down the minimum height requirement to 5’0” for both genders “to boost the number of applicants… and broaden the pool of candidates.”
“The widening of the pool of cadet candidates assures a deep selection of those who possess the qualifications the PMA is looking for in its cadets,” he said.
He said the academy’s adherence to its “zero tolerance to maltreatment” policy was proof of the “PMA’s firm stand and commitment against maltreatment of newly accepted cadets.”
“(W)ith the staunch and resolute commitment of the (PMA) to eradicate hazing in the cadet corps, the PMA is geared toward providing a more responsive and relevant training environment,” Peralta added.
As of Aug. 24, he said 15,647 applicants had registered online while some 3,000 to 5,000 walk-in applicants were expected to show up at the 37 testing centers nationwide.
“This is the highest number of aspirants so far in the history of the PMA since the academy launched its online registration more than five years ago,” Peralta said.
He said an average of 400 individuals had been applying online daily since last month.
A total of 15,873 applicants took the exams last year, but only 1,120 passed. From the successful examinees, only 123 became full-fledged cadets.
Cadets who finish the grueling four-year military course at the PMA are automatically commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army, Navy and Air Force.