Briones favors mandatory ROTC, says DepEd to play ‘major role’

MANILA, Philippines – Education secretary Leonor Briones said that if the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program will be approved, the Department of Education (DepEd) will play a major role in its implementation.

Briones favors mandatory ROTC, says DepEd to play ‘major role’
DepEd will play an active role in the crafting of the proposed mandatory ROTC program | Photo Courtesy: PNA

Under the proposed measure, students in Grades 11 and 12, both public and private schools nationwide shall be required to undergo the ROTC program. It aims to instil patriotism and discipline among senior high school students

Briones explained that DepEd will not just “turn over” its students under the program but will play an “expanded role” in the crafting of the scheme.

In a press conference on Wednesday in Malacañang, Briones said, “Major, major ang role ng DepEd. Hindi lamang na mag-turnover tayo ng ating mga estudyante for ROTC training, hindi ganoon—kasali ang DepEd, from the making of the guidelines, mga rules, discipline and so on.”

Briones added she sat down to take a good look at the curriculum to ensure it is focused on its objectives. She said, “I have sat through some of the curriculum, the subjects na pinag-aaralan ng mga bata; na ma-assure natin na ma-instill iyong history, iyong nationalism, protection of the country and so on na. Sa side na iyon ng DepEd, pakialamero this time si DepEd."

Briones also commented that she is in favor of the ROTC implementation. She said, “As a matter of principle, I am for ROTC. We cannot be relying on other countries for defense.”

SEE ALSO: Duterte urges Congress to make ROTC mandatory again

DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua also confirmed that they will be more keen against violence and abuses.

Grievance committees shall be established to make sure complaints will be heard. Instructors who will teach ROTC shall be required to undergo an ROTC Instructors Academy to equip them with the necessary information on laws, policies, guidelines and approaches.

There will also be a 2-year pilot program in the implementation of ROTC. DepEd, the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will choose 100 public and private schools to take part.

“It’s a two-year implementation phase para sa ganoon makapa lahat kung ano iyong mga naging problems/issues, makapag-adjust pa and then we implement it to all schools," Pascua said.

The House of Representatives already passed the proposal on third and final reading but the Senate has yet to pass their own counterpart measure.

— The Summit Express

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