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PMA graduation moved to May

/ 05:17 AM February 20, 2019
PMA graduation moved to May

FAMILY AFFAIR A Philippine Military Academy graduate and his family take souvenir photos with cadets during the academy’s recent alumni homecoming in Baguio City. —EV ESPIRITU

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — This year’s graduation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has been moved to May, after it adjusted its school calendar with the schedules of high schools and colleges from where it gets its recruits.

Members of the graduating PMA “Mabalasik” Class of 2019, who were incorporated into the corps of cadets in 2015, would still be completing their courses in March (the previous graduation month) as well as April and parts of May, after they began classes in August last year, said Lt. Col. Harry Baliaga Jr., PMA spokesperson.

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K-12 impact

PMA had not yet finalized the new schedule for its commencement exercises when the latest batch of first class cadets — the equivalent of college seniors — would earn their commissions as junior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said.

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Mabalasik stands for Mandirigma ng Bayan, Iaalay ang Sarili, Lakas at Tapang, para sa Kapayapaan.

PMA made the adjustment after officials realized that changes made by other schools to accommodate the K-12 basic education program had affected recruitment.

Curriculum change

Many aspiring cadets, who passed the entrance examinations as well as other basic tests, failed to attend the PMA Reception Day on April 1 because they had yet to graduate from their schools.

“These potential cadets choose to go elsewhere and we lose good candidates,” said a PMA professor.

Earlier, academy officials had said they believed the K-12 program would not disrupt the recruitment of students for the cadet program, many of whom were sophomore college students although it had actively invited graduates from top performing high schools as well.

PMA initially undertook a curriculum overhaul, excluding 36 general education subjects that had been absorbed in senior high school programs.

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Baliaga discussed the graduation on the sidelines of this year’s PMA alumni homecoming on Saturday, which was focused on 10 alumni who had been appointed to the Cabinet of President Duterte.

Stressing that their performance helped the military reap high public confidence, PMA superintendent, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, cited the alumni who had become “decision makers” in the Cabinet, among them Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu (Class 1970), as well as those in politics. —Vincent Cabreza

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