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PNOY INAUGURATES PAGCOR-FUNDED PMA SPORTS COMPLEX

by on May.07, 2015, under Government

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – President Benigno Simeon Aquino III led the inauguration of the new Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sports Complex during the Academy’s Sinaglahi Class commencement exercises on March 15, 2015.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

The Commander-in-Chief was joined by National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gregorio P. Catapang, PMA Lt. Gen. Oscar Lopez and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr.

The modernization of the 62-year old PMA Sports Complex started in November 2013 after PMA received P105 million funding from PAGCOR. It took the Academy over a year to complete the 11,500 square meter well-equipped sports facility.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Sports Complex 2015

In his commencement speech for the 172 members of the Sinaglahi Class, Aquino mentioned about the completion of the new sports facility. “In front of us is your new sports center. Perhaps the Sinaglahi Class is saying: ‘We saw it being constructed, and yet others will reap the benefits. Perhaps our Honorable Secretary of National Defense will tell the following classes who will be able to use the sports center: ‘Back in my day, even our water came from a fire truck.’ There was a shortage of water in the PMA then, such that they were given five counts to collect water from a fire truck with their helmets, and that would be their ration for the day…perhaps this is how destiny is: As our country develops, the sacrifices required of its citizens should lessen,” President Aquino said.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Sports Complex 2015

Chairman Naguiat of PAGCOR meanwhile said that as the premier training academy of the country’s future military leaders, the PMA needs to continuously upgrade its facilities to fully prepare the cadets for the tough military life. “Our future soldiers need more modern facilities that will help hone not only their academic competency but also their physical capabilities. This is the reason why PAGCOR did not hesitate to fund the construction of this sports complex,” he added.

The new PMA Sports Complex is a far cry from the old one. It now has volleyball, basketball and badminton courts, a gymnastic floor, gymnastics area, combative sports area and a wall climbing facility. It also has a sports facility area with toilets, lockers, main lobby, offices, lecture rooms for Sports and Physical Development classes and a storage area.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Spokesperson Major Fara Krishna Candelaria narrated that prior to PAGCOR’s funding, the Academy used its old Jurado Hall built in 1953 for the physical fitness requirements of its cadets and personnel. Apart from being out-dated, it could only accommodate around 500 cadets. “It was no longer commensurate to the needs of the present population size of PMA,” she added.

Their newly-built sports complex is expected to benefit at least 750 cadets and around 1,500 command personnel, civilian employees and faculty of the PMA.  It will also allow the PMA to host inter-school sports events such as the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League.

According to Candelaria, the new PMA Sports Complex will greatly add value to the PMA because physical fitness is part of the core curriculum of the Academy. “Keeping fit is a way of life for people in the military service. We must maintain our physical fitness regardless of rank. With the new sports complex, our cadets will be inspired to do their best. It will also help in our recruitment of new cadets and will encourage even our civilian personnel to take part in athletic events.”

Candelaria added that the construction of the new facility is a big leap for the PMA as it works towards its 2028 vision of modernizing the Academy to make it at par with international military schools.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Sports Complex 2015

“Since the Sports Complex is of utmost importance to us, PMA has already included its renovation in the Master Development plan last 2012. But the construction would be done in phases since the priority of our funding goes to training. Infrastructure and other development come from extra funds and sources. If PAGCOR had not funded construction of the facility, we might still be able to do it but it will certainly take a long time,” Candelaria said.

Sinaglahi Class Valedictorian Arwi Martinez was one of the cadets who used the old Jurado Hall. “As a sports facility, it needed a lot of repairs. For example, hindi na gumagagana yung score board for basketball, yung cubicles, three out of five lang ang gumagana.”

Martinez believes that the new PMA Sports Complex will further motivate cadets to take their physical fitness requirements seriously. “I think it will encourage the PMA community and the cadets to engage more in physical activities,” he concluded.

PMA Sports Complex 2015

PMA Sports Complex 2015

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