MANILA –A bill has been filed in the Senate seeking for the mandatory training of Filipino college students in tasks related to national defense, law enforcement, and disaster risk reduction and management.
Under Senate Bill 1322, Senate Pres. Aquilino Pimentel III called for the establishment of a Citizen Service Training Course for their possible mobilization in the service of the nation during times of emergencies and contingencies in the form of natural and man-made calamities and external and internal security threats.
Also called the Citizen Service Act, the bill proposes a mandatory Basic Citizen Service Training Course (Basic CSTC) which will form part of the curricula of all baccalaureate degree courses and all technical vocational courses that require at least two years to complete.
Moreover, the bill also seeks the establishment of a Citizen Service Mobilization Commission (CSMC) which will administer the program.
The Basic CTSC course would be completed over four semesters in the first two years of all baccalaureate degrees and vocational and technical courses and will be a requisite for graduation.
Pimentel’s bill also states that there will be no exemptions for Basic CTSC, but there will be a special CSTC for those who are classified and officially registered as persons with disabilities, those who religious beliefs prohibit the use of firearms in rendering service to the country, those who have been convicted by final judgment of crimes involving moral turpitude, and foreign citizens studying in the country.
After the Basic CSTC, there will be an Advance CSTC for those interested in pursuing a reserve commission in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Office of Civil Defense.
Graduates of the program would be a part of the Citizen Service Corps that can be called upon and mobilized to assist the national government and local government units on matters related to national defense, internal security, and disaster risk reduction and management.
“Through the Citizen Service Corps, the Filipino youth will be true Partners for Change –organized, disciplined, and filled with a sense of purpose in serving the State.”
“The youth will inherit this nation, and it is essential that they are integrated into the process of nation-building as early as possible”, Pimentel said.