DND, PSG to host 1st presidential drill competition

The country’s seven major service academies will showcase their military discipline in the first Presidential Silent Drill Competition on December 5.

On Friday, Presidential Security Group (PSG) Chief of Staff Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has conducted silent drill competitions in the past but only among its military units.

“The silent drill competition in December 2019 will be bigger and our major service academies from across the country will be participating,” Cabangbang said in an interview.

Organized by the PSG and the Department of National Defense (DND), the event will feature delegates from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), Philippine Army Officer Candidate School (PAOCS), Philippine Navy Officer Candidate School (PNOCS), and Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS), who have begun practicing as they vie for the top spot.

The activity is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to the DND and PSG to engage the youth in military activities.

In a separate interview, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs, Brig. Gen Royland Orquia, said silent drills are widely practiced among military personnel here and in other countries.

“It is one way of exemplifying the military professionalism through synchronized movements and drills. Discipline, uniqueness of their movement manifest in their synchronization,” Orquia said. “They do it without counting. No one will talk. It is purely mental training. They move in unison, exemplifying perfection.”

For the event, each group of 50 to 70 members will perform a 15- to 20-minute silent drill. Accompaniment to the drill shall be limited to the snare drum, bass drum, and public address system. The organizers have also allowed blank ammunition for special effects.

The first prize winner will receive PHP300,000; the second, PHP200,000; and the third, PHP100,00. The other four will each receive a consolation prize of PHP50,000.

They will be judged based on three criteria: execution, 50 percent; visual effects, 30 percent; and stage deportment, 20 percent.

The competition highlights this year’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Summit that will be staged at the Quirino Grandstand.

It will be attended by about 2,500 ROTC cadets from selected colleges and universities and uniformed personnel.

The event is a prelude to the ROTC Unit’s three-leg Silent Drill Competitions in March 2020. 

The Mindanao leg will be hosted at the University of Mindanao campus in Davao City on March 12. Participants from the Visayas will compete at the Smart Complex in Cebu City on March 19, while Luzon delegates will compete at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila in the same month. PNA.GOV.PH