Gatchalian asks Palace to certify ROTC bill as urgent
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urged Malacañang on Wednesday to certify as urgent the passage of the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for senior high school students.
He said Malacanang’s certification is the only “chance” the measure will be approved by the Senate before the 17th Congress adjourns sine die on June 7.
As chair of the Senate committee on education, Gatchalian said he is ready to sponsor the measure on the floor on Monday.
But the senator said the measure may face rough sailing in the Senate, not only because of time constraints but also because of the clarificatory questions that would be raised by his colleagues.
“So the only chance it will be approved is to certify it as urgent,” Gatchalian said in Filipino in an interview at the Senate.
“Yes, I’m asking the executive to certify it as urgent so we can skip the three-day rule,” he added.
Gatchalian explained that if the measure is enacted into law, the mandatory ROTC would be implemented in Grades 11 and 12 students.
He explained that it would not be “purely military training” as the curriculum also includes disaster-preparedness and instilling discipline to students.
Gatchalian said every school would also be required to have a grievance committee to address any abuses and other complaints during the implementation of the ROTC.
READ: Grievance committee to handle hazing, abuse complaints under mandatory ROTC — AFP
Last Monday, the House of Representatives also passed its version of the measure.
READ: Mandatory ROTC for Senior HS students gets final House nod
Once passed by both chambers, they would meet in a bicameral conference committee to reconcile the two versions.
The approved version in the bicameral panel will be sent back to the Senate and the House for ratification. Once ratified, the measure will be transmitted to the President for signature. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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