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Duterte backs immediate revival of ROTC

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration wants the immediate revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program as soon as legal requirements are in place, a Palace official said on Wednesday. In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it was President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who personally backed the ROTC’s revival. “It is going to help in the building of discipline and values, especially in this generation, and we expect ROTC to be able to help build a sense of patriotism among the next generation,” he said.
Abella assured that the President is open to conversation to allay fears over its revival. “Kasama na ‘yan sa prosesong pinag-uusapan, narinig na rin kung bakit may opposition tungkol sa pag-i-impose muli ng ROTC,” he said. He stressed, however, that the emphasis of the President’s thrust in reimposing ROTC is to serve as a platform that could basically help build a sense of patriotism in the next generation of Filipinos.
In a radio interview over the weekend, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said ROTC is important because aside from instilling patriotism and discipline among young people, it also helps the country build its reserve force and easily mobilize personnel during times of disasters.
“So, nakita po ng ating Pangulo, he saw the wisdom na kailangan ibalik ito para number one, maibalik iyong discipline, strengthening of character para hindi po ganoon kabilis iyong isang bata na ma-tempt na magdroga. At number two, para to strengthen also our paramilitary,” Andanar said. The reserve military training under Republic Act 9163 is known as the National Service Training Program (NSTP). It has three parts — the NSTP-ROTC, Literacy Training Service, and the Civil Welfare Training Service. But out of the three programs, Andanar said, it is unfortunate that only 14 percent of enrolled students take ROTC. There are two pending bills in Congress being deliberated as proposed by Representative Isidro Ungab and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Andanar said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.