Duterte urges Congress to make ROTC mandatory again


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MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, November 22, expressed his interest in reviving the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for students.
Duterte urges Congress to make ROTC mandatory again

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the 35th anniversary of Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM)
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the 35th anniversary of Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) |Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Bong Go

During the 35th Founding Anniversary of the Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) in Camp Regio de Dios, Tanza Cavite, the President shared his thoughts on how ROTC would really help the Filipino youth.

Duterte said, “Lahat ng bayan sa buong mundo, lalo na Israel, mag-training ka talaga. We are not the only generation who will be soldiers. Ang mga anak natin, kung ‘di mo gawin, walang alam kung magkaupakan.”

President Rodrigo Duterte seeks making ROTC mandatory again
President Rodrigo Duterte seeks making ROTC mandatory again | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ROTC

Duterte stated that a certain alleged hazing caused the downfall of ROTC. He said,“That simple hazing caused an aberration in our country. Ang Pilipino ngayon wala nang alam dahil doon sa nawala ang ROTC.”

It was back in 2002 when the ROTC was made optional. It was during the height of the controversy involving a student from the University of Sto. Tomas who was allegedly killed by ROTC officers after he exposed their alleged corruption. The National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001 was shortly passed after the incident. Unlike the ROTC, the NSTP offers alternatives such as Literacy Service Training (LST) and Civil Welfare Service Training.

Duterte urged the Congress to make the ROTC mandatory again for students in the Grade 11 and 12. He said, "I likewise encourage Congress to enact a law that will require mandatory ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 so we can instill patriotism, love of country among our youth.”

If the lawmakers will take their time, Duterte said he is considering passing an executive order to make it possible. The President said, “Pag madala ng EO siguro, Executive Order baka mapilitan ako if they do not act on it.”

He added, “I said that this is a constitutional requirement that you must prepare to defend your country.”

There are already pending bills in both Senate and Congress to make ROTC mandatory again.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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