PRESIDENT FERDINAND Marcos Jr. wants the 19th Congress lawmakers to pass a bill making Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory for the senior high school level.
“This will seek to reinstitute the ROTC program as [a] mandatory component of senior high school programs (Grades 11 and 12) in all public and private tertiary-level educational institutions,” Marcos Jr. said during his first State of the Nation Address.
He said that this would prepare the students in case of threats to national security or disaster circumstances.
“The aim is to motivate, train, organize and mobilize the students for national defense preparedness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk-related situations,” the President said.
Vice President and education secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier said during her campaign that she would push through with the implementation of required military service for senior high school students.
Senators Ronald Dela Rosa and Sherwin Gatchalian supported this idea. Dela Rosa volunteered to write the provisions of the bill in “a version how Duterte-Carpio wants.
Despite gaining support, online users criticized the mandatory ROTC, saying it will only promote “fear” and “blind obedience” instead of nationalism.
Mandatory ROTC was abolished in 2002 after former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001 into law, giving students a chance to choose between ROTC, Literary Training Service, and Civil Welfare as their NSTP requirement.
The death of Mark Chua, a UST student, led to a series of protests by student activists that drove the abolishment of ROTC. F – Dawn Solano and Matthew Jucom