BUTUAN CITY - A total of 889 applicants took the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) entrance examination in two military camps in Northern and Northeastern Mindanao last Sunday.
The examination took place inside the gymnasium of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) in Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City and the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade at Camp Bancasi, Butuan City
The applicants came from different cities and provinces in the 4th ID area in Northern and Northeastern Mindanao.
They were divided into two batches since the gymnasium can only accommodate some 600 examiners. The first batch started the examination at 8 A.M. and ended at 10 P.M. and the second batch started at 2 P.M. and ended at 7 in the evening.
There were more applicants this year because of the decrease in height requirement from 5'2" to 5'0" for both male and female applicants.
Many of the applicants were also encouraged by the PMA's "No Maltreatment Policy."
Successful applicants will compose the PMA Class 2017 who will be officially received in the Academy in an oath-taking ceremony and reception rites on April 1, 2013.
Among the benefits given a PMA are a free college education with a well-rounded curriculum and a monthly pay and allowances. After graduating from the Academy, one is guaranteed a progressive career as an officer in the Army, Navy or Air Force.
In a statement yesterday, Maj. Gen. Victor A. Felix, commander of 4th ID said, "We are happy to see the response of the youth to the innovations of PMA recruitment. Applicants, number 889, were quite a number for a single testing center but the PMA has 37, so we can approximate that for this year more or less 20,000 qualified youth took this year's entrance examination. We are very positive that those who passed and will compose Class 2017 will have undergone very tough competition."