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OPTIONAL IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS

CHEd proposal: ROTC should be mandatory only in SUCs

/ 09:16 PM February 20, 2019
ROTC cadets in UP Diliman

This undated file photo shows ROTC cadets reporting to their officers at the Sunken Garden of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture approved on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, a bill seeking to revive the mandatory ROTC for students in Grades 11 and 12. (Photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program should only be offered as an option for students in private higher education institutions but mandatory for those in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) made this proposal on Wednesday during the inquiry of the Senate Committee on Education on the proposed Citizen Armed Force or Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act (Senate Bill No. 189).

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The bill seeks to revive the mandatory ROTC program in Grades 11 and 12 students.

“We are proposing that should ROTC be mandatory, it would be better for the SUCs,” Dr. Nena Asingjo, chief of the Office of Student Development and Services of CHEd, said.

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“For the private higher education institution we have already [in place] the three components. Sso they still have the choice — if they choose to take ROTC,” she added.

The three components she was referring to are under the National Service Training Program (NSTP) — namely the ROTC, Civic Welfare Training Service, and Literacy Training Service.

“That’s the official position po ng CHEd — na mandatory sa SUCs, optional sa private?” Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, vice chair of the committee, asked.

“Yes, the choice of the students,” Asingjo said. “That is the existing… but we are proposing it would be mandatory for the SUCs.”

In 2002, ROTC was made optional through the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001 (Republic Act No. 9163).

Calls to abolish the ROTC were fueled by the killing of University of Santo Tomas sophomore cadet Mark Welson Chua in 2001 after he exposed corruption in his school’s ROTC. /atm

READ: Duterte approves revival of mandatory ROTC for Grades 11, 12

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TAGS: Ched, Commission on Higher Education, ROTC
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