MANILA – Another measure that seeks the revival of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) was filed in Senate.
Measure proponent Sen. Richard Gordon said the measure aims to foster patriotism and nationalism among Filipinos.
Under the proposed ROTC program, Filipino men aged 18 years old will undergo military training and must render six months of military service.
“We are challenged right now, and we should be prepared,” said Gordon, adding that the country should be ready for any foreign attacks, especially in the disputed chain of islands in the South China Sea.
“Ang mga bata dapat marunong magsundalo. Dapat kaya nilang lumaban para sa bayan kung kailangan,” the senator said.
He also said it is “important to [have] an army of reserved officers who could be called upon and mobilized to assist in matters of external and territorial defense, internal security, peace and order, and disaster risk reduction and management.”
President Rodrigo Duterte said in his previous speeches to revive the ROTC as a mandatory course in college.
Senate Bill No. 1417, or the Citizen Service Act of 2017 requires all college students and those of technical vocational courses to undergo basic citizen service training.
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2002 enacted the Republic Act 9163 or the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act, which made ROTC optional and voluntary for college students.
Under RA 9163, the ROTC was relegated as one of three components of NSTP aside from the Literacy Training Services and the Civil Welfare Training Service./PN