Reserve Officers’ Training Corps bill pressed

Sherwin Gatchalian

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian is set to refile in the upcoming 18th Congress his bill requiring the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students.

Gatchalian, sponsor of Senate Bill 2232 or the proposed Senior High School Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Act in the 17th Congress, insisted that allowing high school students to undergo the ROTC program would turn them into patriotic and disciplined individuals.

“Itong ROTC is purely training para mabigyan ng magandang kaalaman at disiplina ang ating mga kabataan...Hindi lang ito purely military training, kung hindi mayroong disaster preparedness,” Gatchalian said.

The government had made ROTC optional in 2002 following the controversial death of Mark Chua, a University of Santo Tomas student who was allegedly slain by course officers after exposing fund mismanagement.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte himself is pushing for the revival of the ROTC program, believing it would help prepare young Filipinos to defend the Philippines during wartime.

In his statement, President Duterte said that the bill is necessary to restore basic military and leadership training for the youth in order to invigorate their sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary in defending the State and to further promote their vital role in nation-building.