AFP lowers running distance for soldiers' physical fitness exams
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2014 - 5:13pm

MANILA, Philippines - The military adjusted the running distance in the physical fitness test for soldiers, admitting that the previous requirement has caused the exhaustion and even death of some officers.

Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the running distance has been lowered to 2 kilometers from 3.2 kilometers upon the recommendation of a technical working group that assessed the military’s trainings.  

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is having a transition in its conduct of the physical fitness test primarily by lowering the test for running from 3.2 kilometers to two kilometers,” Zagala said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“There’s a technical working group established and this technical working group studied five Asian militaries within the region and the study showed that the average length for physical fitness test during runs is 2 kilometers,” he added.

Zagala said those taking the exam might be exhausted after running beyond 2 kilometers. He said some officers have died after taking the 3.2-kilometer run exam, one of the requirements for promotion.

“Those taking the physical fitness test must do their best to pass and to even get a good grade so they will exhaust themselves but at the same time risking themselves to death,” he said.

Military data showed that three officers have died after taking the semi-annual physical fitness test in Camp Aguinaldo since 2010.

They were Marine Lt. Col. Leonard Vincent Teodoro, who died in 2011; Air Force Col. Richard Parcon, who passed away in 2012 and Navy Capt. Sylvan Jacaban, who died in 2013.

Zagala said that among the countries studied by the technical working group, the one with shortest distance requirement is Singapore at 1.8 kilometers while Indonesia has the longest at 2.4 kilometers.

The adjustments in the requirements would be implemented within the year.

Under the new system, male soldiers below 21 years old should finish the 2-kilometer run in 12 minutes and 30 seconds or less to get a passing score. Female soldiers in the same age bracket should complete the test in 14 minutes or less.

The time requirement is adjusted upwards as the age bracket goes up.

For the most senior male soldiers or those within the age bracket of 52 to 56, they must finish the 2-kilometer run in 21 minutes and 10 seconds or less. Female soldiers in the same age bracket must finish the run in 22 minutes and 50 seconds or less. (with a report from I. Bongcales)

AIR FORCE COL ARMED FORCES ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP AGUINALDO KILOMETERS LEONARD VINCENT TEODORO MARINE LT NAVY CAPT RAMON ZAGALA ZAGALA
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