MANILA — In the wake of renewed activities of the Chinese military in the Kalayaan group of islands (Spratlys), Valenzuela City Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday said that now is the opportune time to re-institutionalize the Reserved Offices Training Corps (ROTC) as a means of inculcating in the youth patriotism and nationalism.
Gatchalian said making ROTC mandatory for all male students enrolled in colleges, universities and technical or vocational schools is in line with the Constitutional provision, which states that “the Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in fulfilment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military or civil service.”
The ranking member of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) has been pushing for the revival of the basic military and officer training for tertiary students through House Bill No. 2338
Under the proposed bill, ROTC will form part of the curriculum of all college degree courses as well as technical or vocational courses, and shall be a pre-requisite for graduation.
Students shall be required to complete the ROTC for an academic period for two years.
“Now is the opportune time to re-institutionalize ROTC for our college students. Through this legislation, they will undergo the appropriate training to ensure their readiness to respond to the call of service,” Gatchalian said.
The NPC solon said it is the duty of every citizen to safeguard the security of the State and the sovereignty of our country especially in the light of the creeping occupation of the Kagitingan Reef and Mischief Reef by the Peoples Liberation Army of China.
In pushing for H.B. 2338, Gatchalian noted that prior to its being an optional requirement of the National Service Training Program (NSTP), ROTC graduates constitute roughly about 75 percent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officers corps, and has since been the breeding ground for prominent alumni who became commanding officers of the Army, including the chief of staff of the AFP.
“The ROTC program will bolster confidence in our military preparedness and capability. It will also provide our country with support from student-cadet reservists and potential commissioned officers,” Gatchalian said.