Press Release
August 12, 2023

Tolentino goes to Iloilo to lead PH's first-ever ROTC games

ILOILO CITY - Senator Francis 'TOL' N. Tolentino is in Iloilo City today, August 12, to lead the country's first-ever Philippine ROTC Games.

The first leg of the ROTC Games--or the 'Visayas Leg'--will be hosted by the West Visayas State University together with the Iloilo City Government, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air-force of Region 6.

In his weekly radio program on DZRH, Tolentino who is the honorary chairman of the games, said Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets will participate in the athletic competitions which include basketball, volleyball, boxing, kickboxing, arnis, athletics, and e-sports.

Delegates from Regions 6, 7, and 8 will be competing in different sport events from August 13 to 19, 2023, said Senator Tolentino, who conceptualized the event together with the Department of National Defense (DND), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Surprised by the enthusiasm and excitement of ROTC cadets upon announcement of the games last year, Senator Tolentino said this was a manifestation that support for the ROTC was strong despite the absence of a law mandating the program.

"Hinahangaan ng kabataan 'yan (ROTC). Sabi ko, kung hinahangaan ng kabataan 'yan, bakit hindi natin simulan sa kabataan? Kung gusto nilang maging elite athletes sa pamamagitan ng ROTC, simulan na natin," Tolentino said.

The lawmaker said that the role of military training in sports was exemplified by athletes who won in athletic competitions in Asia and the Olympics, such as Hidilyn Diaz, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, and other military members who became elite athletes.

Contrary to misconceptions, the senator emphasized that ROTC is "not confined to the mechanical and physical aspects of the program," stressing that ROTC builds character, discipline and readiness to respond to concerns such as disasters, climate change, and food security.

Once the Visayas Leg concludes, Senator Tolentino said the Mindanao Leg of the ROTC games will be held in Zamboanga City from August 27 to September 2, while the Luzon Leg will be held in Cavite and in Metro Manila from October 8 to 14.

The ROTC Games' national championship will then be held in Pasig City and Manila City from October 22 to 27.

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