WHILE it may promote discipline among the youth, there should be proper monitoring of the conduct of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to ensure it will not be used as an instrument of bullying.
So said Provincial Youth Commission executive director Charlton James Canoy in an interview Friday, May 24, 2019, following the passage on third and final reading of a bill reinstating the mandatory ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 students in all public and private schools.
“I hope the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) that will be crafted by the concerned agencies will be properly implemented by our schools to prevent untoward incidents. In the past, we witnessed physical punishments during trainings. I hope our schools will strictly monitor this so the program will not be abused,” he said in Cebuano.
Under House Bill 8961, Grades 11 and 12 students, both in public and private schools, are mandated to undergo the ROTC program, which includes lessons in patriotism, basic military training and civic training.
At least 167 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill while four voted against it.
If enacted into law, ROTC will be a requirement for graduation for senior high school students, except those who are not physically or psychologically fit.
The ROTC is one of the three components of the National Service Training Program (NSTP).
The two other components of the NSTP are the Civic Welfare Training Service and the Literacy Training Service.
Through the ROTC, students are provided with military training for national defense preparedness.
The program used to be mandatory in schools until it became optional in 2002 through Republic Act 9163 or the NSTP Act of 2001.
In November 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte said making ROTC program mandatory for students would “instill patriotism and love of country among our youth.” (RTF)