MANILA –Around 300 senior military reservists commanders gathered at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to discuss the proposal to restore the Mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Wednesday.
This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the proposed restoration of the mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 of the country’s public and private schools.
“The ROTC is a key component of the AFP’s Reserve Force Development program. Through this summit, we are able to connect the ROTC Corps Commanders with the Senior Reservist Commanders of the AFP to discuss common issues on the ROTC and its role in the Reserve Force,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
Among the speakers were Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian who tackled the restoration of mandatory ROTC, and Retired Navy Capt. Diofonce F. Tuñacao of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific who discussed the institutional measures to prevent hazing and corruption in the ROTC.
The summit was anchored on the theme “Building the ROTC as a Strong Foundation of the AFP Reserve Force”.
It also featured focus group discussions and a plenary session where ROTC graduates can interact with reservist commanders of the Brigade-level Ready Reserve Units.
As the summit’s output, a manifesto was signed by the ROTC Corps Commander inking their pledge to actively address hazing and corruption in the ROTC, and to commit themselves to greater participation in nation-building.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines believes it is time to bring back mandatory ROTC in schools to ensure that the youth are shaped with a deep sense of patriotism and love for country,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said.
“The Mandatory ROTC Program will strengthen national security since the country will have trained men and women who can defend their country in times of war and crises; undertake disaster, relief and rescue operations and; assist in socio-economic development,” he added.