Lt. Col. Rene R. Cañete, executive officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade here asked a hundred graduates of the Citizen Army Training at the Bukidnon State University Secondary School Laboratory to consider a career with the country's military.
"It's not all war and fighting in the military," Cañete was quoted by one of the parents of CAT graduates who attended the rites as having said.
He said the concept that soldiers only do combat operations is a misconception.
He was also reported to have presented the perks of military service such as free hospitalization, scholarships and travel benefits in and out of the country.
Cañete was the keynote speaker of BSU's CAT graduation rites where he shared his experience as an army official who rose from the ranks.
Rey Oton, the school's CAT facilitator, told MindaNews Cañete's speech served as an inspiration to the students.
Oton quoted Cañete as saying he himself had never considered working in the military as he took BS Biology in college.
Oton stressed Cañete spoke to "inspire" the CAT graduates and not to recruit them to military service.
The army official was quoted as saying professionals could join the military by taking an examination and attending a one-year training to become officials.
Huey John Villanueva, 17, the school's CAT battalion commander, said he is now considering a career in the military because he finds the scheme attractive.
"But I have to finish BS Accountancy first before I might join," he told MindaNews via telephone.
He said that prior to the speech his impression of the military was mainly negative.
"Gubot nga kinabuhi," (It's a chaotic life) he said.
"Wala pa gihapon na nawala nga concept hangtud karon, pero at least naa nako nahibal-an," (I still have that concept but at least I know something now) he added.
Some parents, however, noted that most of the graduates were not interested.
"Ma-appreciate nila pero naa na sila'y priority nga mga kurso," (They can appreciate it but they have priority courses already), Dina, 43, a parent of a graduate told MindaNews.
BSU-SSL's academic graduation rites will be on March 27 with the theme "Accelerating Education for Global Competitiveness". (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)