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Number of PMA applicants drops by two-thirds over 10 years

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:37:00 06/05/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The number of applicants to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), the country’s premiere military school, has dropped by about two-thirds over 10 years, data showed.

The steep decline in applicants to the PMA could be attributed to students’ preference for courses that will lead to high-paying jobs, the academy’s spokesman, Captain Dennis Solomon, said.

In 1997, there were 21,051 applicants to the PMA. Ten years later, in 2007, there were only 7,739 applicants, records showed.

Over the 10-year period from 1997 to 2007, the lowest number of applicants, 4,994, was recorded in 2006.

There were 16,017 applicants in 1998, 18,510 in 1999, 16,558 in 2000, 20,158 in 2001, 8,217 in 2002, 12,234 in 2003, 20,196 in 2004, and 5,992 in 2005.

In 2007, 810 or 16 percent of the total number of examinees passed the PMA entrance test. The results of this year’s exams have yet to be released.

Solomon said he was often asked by students if they would earn more in the military service compared to the private sector.

“Of course it [military service] would not. But what I try to tell them is that serving in the Armed Forces is more than the financial aspect,” Solomon said, adding, “But of course, when they face reality, they want to earn more.”

To entice students to apply at the PMA, Solomon said the academy has started holding photo exhibits and information drives in schools.

Graduates of the PMA are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army and Air Force, and as ensigns in the Navy. The 2008 “Baghawi” or “Bagong Halaw ng Lahi” class has 220 members.

The PMA is the primary source of officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Officers Candidate School and the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) are the other sources.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-06-05T14:51:47+00:00UTC06bUTCThu, 05 Jun 2008 14:51:47 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm06

Posted in Uncategorized

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