Saturday, August 20, 2022

Lawmakers Push Reinstatement Of Mandatory ROTC

Lawmakers Push Reinstatement Of Mandatory ROTC

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Some senators are determined to revive the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program as a mandatory subject for Filipino students.

Reviving the ROTC, Senator Francis Tolentino said on Thursday, would instill discipline, a sense of leadership, teamwork, and patriotism among the youth.

“Notably, the program would be conducted during the youths’ formative years, thus, molding them at a prime age to be nationalistic citizens prepared to uphold the Philippine Constitution,” Tolentino said in his Manila Bulletin column.

He said this would be also very helpful in the government’s campaign for disaster response preparedness and would play a significant role in times of calamities and disaster relief operations.

Tolentino, a Brigadier General of the Philippine Army Reserve, cited a provision under the 1987 Constitution saying, “The prime duty of the government is to serve and protect the people. The government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal military or civil service.”

“To truly enjoy democracy and our independence as a nation, we should insure the country’s freedom and safety,” he said.

Both Senators Robin Padilla and Ronald Dela Rosa included the revival of mandatory ROTC in their respective top 10 priority bills for the 19th Congress.

Dela Rosa said in a recent interview his ROTC bill, the top two among his priority measures, is a “milder version” compared to the mandatory two-year military service being pushed by Vice President Sara Duterte.

The former Philippine National Police Chief’s version of the mandatory ROTC program, if passed into law, will be introduced in Grades 11 and 12 in both public and private schools, while an advanced ROTC program will be available in the first two years of higher education for those who want to become officers.

Duterte has been hoping that the revival of ROTC will be included in President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s priority legislative agenda.

During the campaign period, Duterte, who is also the designated Department of Education Secretary, vowed to push for mandatory military service for Filipinos aged 18 years old if she wins as vice president. (PNA)

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