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2023 Philippine ROTC Games formally launched at Camp Aguinaldo

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Photo: (L-to-R) Department of Defense Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr., chairman Philippine ROTC Games Executive Organizing Committee, Senator Francis Tolentino, CHED Chairman Dr. Prospero de Vera III and PSC Chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala.

IN a major milestone for local sports development and the government’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program,  allied government agencies yesterday formally launched the 2023 Philippine ROTC Games at the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Department of Defense Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the ambitious project also involving the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.

Besides Faustino, who was appointed as the chairman of the newly-formed Philippine ROTC Games Executive Organizing Committee, the other signatories were AFP chief Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, CHED Chairman Dr. Prospero de Vera III and PSC Chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala and a representative of Atty. Wharton Chan, the POC chief legal counsel,  representing the private sector.

All of them will members of the organizing committee in the sportsfest meant to foster national pride, self-discipline, teamwork, and excellence while serving as a new spawning ground for outstanding athletes for international play, according to Bacarro.

Witnessing the MOA signing, and formal launch of the Philippine ROTC Games was Sen. Francis Tolentino, a brigadier general in the Army reserve, who was the prime mover in initiating the undertaking aimed at boosting greater engagement among college students in both the ROTC and sports.

“The utilization of sports as a platform to propagate the ROTC program is both remarkable and brilliant for developing a healthy and alert citizenry,” noted Eala.

“It (the Philippine ROTC Games) not only provides a viable format in training our young people towards their basic patriotic duty to the country but is also an avenue for a new, diverse and massed platform for our country’s grassroots development program,” he stressed.  “This multi-discipline event will enable us to identify new, dedicated and finely skilled student-athletes who will serve as sports heroes of the country in the future.”

“Personally, I have always believed that the ROTC program of the country has been a potent tool for attaining the country’s overall integrity, honor and health” Tolentino said. 

“The launching of the 2023 Philippine ROTC Games signals the beginning of our quest for young Filipino athletes who will not only excel in sports but, more importantly, showcase to the world that the Filipino has a heart of a champion,” senator pointed out.  “Our goal is to promote camaderie, teamwork and sportsmanship, which are important in building bodily strength and character.

“This competition will not be a glorified intramural, but we aim to develop a pool of disciplined elite athletes.”

Brig. Gen. Doroteo Jose Jalandoni, who was among those who conceptualized the 2023 Philippine ROTC Games, revealed that the competitions among ROTC cadets will involve three phases: sports clinics where cadets will learn the sports basics, regional meets and the National Games.

Jalandoni said that sports in the initial sportsfest are athletics, obstacle sports, swimming, boxing, arnis, weightlifting, kickboxing, e-sports, basketball, volleyball, target shooting and the demonstration of gymnastics.

He added that these will involve ROTC cadets in the Army, Air Force and Navy, with the best of the best among them to take part in the National Philippine ROTC Games that is tentatively set for around September of next year.

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