MANILA -- More than 18,000 applicants on Sunday took an admission test to become cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
Out of 22,573 registered applicants, 18,169 aspiring cadets trooped to 31 testing centers across the country to take the Philippine National Police Academy Cadet Admission Test, according to PNPA spokesperson Lt. Col. Byron Allatog.
"Sa tingin ko, umaakyat ang patriotism ng ating mga kabataan. And there's so many opportunities being given," he said.
Some applicants who failed to take the exam were from the Cagayan Valley region, which continues to be plagued by severe flooding after several days of torrential rains, according to Allatog.
Of the 1,088 registered applicants in Cagayan, 339 were unable to take the exam, Allatog said.
Applicants who will pass the written examination on Sunday will still need to undergo medical, neuro-psychiatric, and physical agility tests, and face a board interview before being accepted into the academy.
Only 300 to 350 cadets will be accepted from the thousands of applicants, Allatog said.
At Ramon Magsaysay High School in Sampaloc, Manila, 823 cadet aspirants took the exam, which includes 18-year-old Gabriel Publico.
Publico said he wanted to fulfill his father's failed dream to become a policeman.
"Ako po 'yung magiging impluwensiya upang maibalik 'yong dating tingin sa mga pulis. Hindi ko ito-tolerate 'yong mga magiging kabaro ko sa masamang gawain," he said.
Vae Tatiana Louise Robines, 18, said she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her late grandfather.
"Bago po mamatay ang lolo ko, pinangako ko na magpupulis ako," said Robines.
"Gusto kong maging kagaya niya. Hindi tulad ng ibang pulis ngayon, nagpapa-under sa pulitika. Ang nakita ko sa kanya, mala-Cardo Dalisay po," she said, referring to Coco Martin's character in the long-running primetime show "Ang Probinsyano."
Publico and Robines both said they were unfazed of the hazing issues plaguing the PNPA.
"Tanggap ko na po sa sarili ko na mangyayari at mangyayari iyon," said Publico.
"Sadyang makikisama na lang ako," Robines added.
Allatog assured that the school does not tolerate maltreatment cases.
"They know for sure naman na the institution does not tolerate and condone these things and everything naman na lumalabag ay nakakasuhan, nadi-dismiss sila," he said.
Successful PNPA applicants will enjoy benefits as scholars, including a P38,000 monthly training allowance, which is equivalent to the salary of a police executive master sergeant.