Zambo City to host first-ever PH ROTC Mindanao Games

After hosting the highly successful PRISAA National Games last month, Zamboanga City will host yet again another big sporting event, the Mindanao cluster of the first-ever Philippine Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (PH ROTC) Games 2023 from August 27 to September 2.

A sports buff himself, Mayor John Dalipe pledged his full support to the event in keeping with his administration’s advocacy to promote Zamboanga City as a sports tourism destination in the region.

Dalipe announced that the city government of Zamboanga has allocated at least one million pesos for the said event, which is expected to gather thousands of athletes, coaches and delegation officials from the different higher education institutions (HEIs) all over the five regions in Mindanao.

Officials from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office 9 and the Naval Reserve Command officers headed by Major General Joseph Ferrous S. Cuison, chairperson of the Secretariat for Mindanao-leg of PH ROTC Games, met Thursday, Aug. 9, with Mayor Dalipe together with City Sports Officer Cecile Atilano and PRISAA Executive Director Elbert Atilano as they discussed about the upcoming games and the tripartite agreement on hosting the event.

Also in the meeting were representatives from the city’s host HEIs: the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic State University (ZPPSU) and Zamboanga State College of Marie Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST).

This early, around 1,300 students had already registered for the ROTC Games and more registrants are expected in the coming days.

The ROTC Games will include athletics, swimming, boxing, arnis, weightlifting, kickboxing, e-sports, basketball, volleyball, target shooting, and demonstration sports.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte is expected to keynote the opening program, while Senate President Miguel Zubiri will be the guest of honor and speaker during the closing program. Both officials however have not confirmed yet their availability for the said event.

A CHED initiative, the PH ROTC Games aims to promote and strengthen the ROTC program throughout the country. It also seeks to fortify and promote sports education and create an avenue to showcase the abilities in a competitive yet supportive environment, while instilling value formation and character building in the lives of participating students. The event also provides an opportunity for ROTC cadets to further enhance their skills in their preferred sports.

According to CHED, the ROTC Games would be a good initiative for the impending approval to revive the mandatory ROTC in higher education with the recent passage of HB 6687 or the National Citizen Service Training (NCST) Bill in the House of Representatives.—[Vic Larato]