DAVAO City Mayor and presumptive Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio said pushing for the mandatory military service among youth through the revival of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) has nothing to do with her becoming the next Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary.

"With regard[s] to ROTC and the Department of Education, remind lang ko sa tanang mga bright (I would like to remind those smart people) that the Department of Education is all about basic education and ALS [Alternative Learning System]. So it has nothing to do with ROTC," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, May 16.

ALS is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides opportunities for out-of-school youth and adult learners to develop basic and functional literacy skills, and to access equivalent pathways to complete basic education.

Duterte-Carpio also emphasized that the ROTC is a tertiary subject, which is under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Higher Educations (Ched).

Last week, her running mate, presumptive President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. announced that the mayor had accepted the position of being the next Education Secretary under his cabinet.

She said that she accepted the position as she aims to produce "skilled learners" in the country.

Duterte-Carpio, who was promoted to colonel in the Reserve Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2018, earlier proposed a mandatory rendering of military service for all Filipinos 18 years old and above when she gets elected as vice president.

This had led to speculation that the mayor, who earlier eyed the post of the Department of National Defense, will be reviving the ROTC, which used to be 12 units in college.

The mandatory ROTC was abolished in 2002 when then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed a law replacing it with the National Service Training Program, or community service course.

Duterte-Carpio's spokesperson Liloan, Cebu Mayor Christina Frasco also earlier clarified that the mayor has not made any concrete plans for her future post as "she is respectful of the transition process."

Outgoing Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement that they welcome Duterte-Carpio's appointment, and will support the transition process. She added that they will turn over the Basic Education Plan 2030, the first time that an outgoing administration will leave behind a medium-term plan.

The outgoing mayor, on the other hand, said that they intend to sit down with Briones after she and Marcos will be proclaimed as winners in the 2022 polls. (RGL)