You probably heard, if not read, the news circling around that President Duterte has approved the return of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) to country’s schools. But this time, instead of college, it would be for students in senior high or grades 11 and 12 in both public and private schools.
Way back during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), the president has called for strengthening of the ROTC program, believing that it would instill discipline among students.
Even then, Kabataan Partylist, a partylist that represents the interests of the youth sector, has already expressed resistance to its revival, appealing that it is violent and should not be made mandatory. Kabataan instead, stated that the program should be abolished.
Recently, the Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on his facebook post that Pres. Duterte’s approval of the mandatory ROTC came after thorough discussion with the cabinet members. He added that the proposal will now be forwarded to Congress and Senate and certified as urgent by the president. Included also on the post was Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statement that “ROTC instills patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual values, respect for human rights and adherence to Constitution.”
In addition, Piñol said that strict implementation of Anti – Hazing Law is one measure to avoid repetition of hazing deaths since mandatory ROTC has stopped due to series of scandals, including a student’s death because of hazing.
ROTC has since became “optional and voluntary” alongwith Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Services components under National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act RA 9163. Numbers of students choosing ROTC then decrease by more than half from year 2000 to 2005.
With the rise of the issue about mandatory ROTC’s revival, Filipinos are now expressing their sides, having in consideration its pros and cons. Would it really instill discipline and patriotism amongst youth or would history only repeat itself, whereas hazing has been a major fright?
Fellow Caviteños and Caviteñas, how about hearing from you?