Philippines – House Talks to Revive ROTC Begins
Republic Act No. 7077 , known as the ROTC Abolition Act was passed and implemented by the House of Representatives in 2016.
The Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC), is one of the components of the National Service Training Program by the government aiming to prepare students for commissioning as officers in the Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. The overall program aimed to equip college students the skills and attitudes to be academically successful and develop a well-educated junior officers. ROTS students undergo a weekly military training and drills for a year. Upon completion, they are considered reservist and are ready to be commissioned as army officers (optional).
The mandatory ROTC was made optional during Gloria MAcapagal Arroyo’s regime in 2002 due to irregularities and abuse. It was replaced by the National Service Training Program or NSTP Law. The new law was composed of 3 components; the ROTC, Literacy Training Service (LTS) and the Civic Welfare Training Service. Students can choose which among the 3 they would like to partake in. LTS allows students to volunteer in teaching literacy to school children, out-of-school youth and other branches of underprivileged society. CWTS, on the other hand, pertains to voluntary activity for community development such as health and welfare.
It is a rare to see many politicians agreeing on something and the revival of mandatory ROTC is supported by a number of lawmakers. They believe that ROTC will instil patriotism and nationalism among the youth and shall encourage participation in civic and public affairs. The proposal includes basic training for ‘citizens corps’ among male students who may be mobilized in times of disasters or calamities. Supporters draw inspiration from neighboring countries such as Korea and Singapore.
The proposal received mixed reactions although the ideas was not officially brought to the plenary yet. The past issues on the program brings doubt and skepticism. Whether the proposal will be officially discussed or not depends on the lawmakers and probably be dealt with after the midterm elections this year.
Let’s talk with aimtalk teachers
- What’s your opinion about mandatory military training among students?
- Do you think it is time to strengthen the defense force of countries? Why or why not?
- What activities can you think of that shows nationalism and patriotism?
mandatory(adj): if something is mandatory, the law says it must be done
underprivileged(adj): very poor with worse living conditions, educational opportunities etc than most people in society
instil / instill(v): teach someone to think, behave, or feel in a particular way over a period.
calamity(n): a terrible and unexpected event that causes a lot of damage or suffering (Syn:disaster)
plenary(n): a meeting attended by all participants