FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – Philippine military schools will need to catch up with the rest of the world, according to Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday.
“I was told that our education is behind other schools by about 50 years,” Galvez said in a speech to cadets of the Philippine Military Academy, citing a conversation he had with a general during a recent trip to the United States.
Galvez did not elaborate but said the Armed Forces of the Philippines will pursue and improve a PMA Road Map, which lays down how best to upgrade the academy’s infrastructure and its curriculum to make this premier military academy a world-class military institution by 2028.
Galvez was here to install Maj. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista as the new PMA superintendent, replacing Maj. Gen. Donato San Juan II who retired on the same day, when he celebrated his 56th birthday.
Evangelista said the country’s military education adapts to the changing times. “We have instructors from West Point (the United States Military Academy in New York) embedded here and they are surprised because we were able to maintain the standards,” Evangelista said.
He said American military officers occasionally visit PMA to compare notes.
PMA originated as a Philippine Constabulary officer’s training school in Manila in 1905, under the American colonial government.
It was relocated to Baguio, first in what is now Camp Henry Allen beside the Baguio City Hall, and later at the Teacher’s Camp. Training was stopped and cadets were commissioned into military officers when World War II broke out in the Pacific.
After the war, PMA moved to its current location at a forested hill near the Loakan Airport.