MANILA—Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on Thursday asked students and their parents to speak up on the government’s plan to revive the Reserved Officers Training Course (ROTC) for Grades 11 and 12.
Aquino, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, called on students, student councils and parents’ associations to submit position papers to his committee to know their stand on the planned ROTC revival.
“We want to know the students’ position on this matter,” Aquino said.
He said that his team will also be conducting online poll through social media sites to give students and parents an avenue to voice out their opinion before the Senate conducts hearings on this issue.
At present, three bills calling for the revival of the ROTC are pending with the Committee on Education — Senate Bills 1131, 200 and 189, authored by Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian and Manny Pacquiao, respectively.
The ROTC became optional in 2002 through Republic Act 9163 or the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of National Defense (DND) to revive mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 “to instill love of country and good citizenship among the youth.”
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said Pres. Duterte gave go signal for endorsement in Congress of a bill amending Republic Act No. 7077 which mandates the “institutionalization, development, training and organization” of basic ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 during last Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
Abella said the mandatory ROTC program will cover public and private senior high schools.