DepEd backs mandatory ROTC revival
MANILA, Philipines —The Department of Education (DepED) is supporting the revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students.
“As a matter of principle, I am for the mandatory ROTC,” Education Secretary Briones said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
Briones said the Philippines could not be relying on other countries for its defense.
“We cannot be relying on other countries to defend us,” she said, citing external assistance usually takes too long.
“So we have to rely on ourselves,” she added.
The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading on Monday the Duterte-backed bill reviving the ROTC after the resumption of plenary sessions following a three-month election break.
Once enacted into law, the measure would make ROTC a requisite for the graduation of grades 11 and 12 students except those who are not physically or psychologically fit, those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training and varsity players.
Briones assured students and parents the DepEd would have an expanded role in the implementation of the ROTC.
“Major, major ang role ng DepEd. Hindi lamang na mag-turnover tayo ng ating mga estudyante for ROTC training, hindi ganoon – kasali ang DepEd from the making of the guidelines, mga rules, discipline and so on,” she said.
(DepEd will have a major role. We will not just turn over students for ROTC training. It won’t be like that. The DepEd will be involved in the making of the guidelines, rules, discipline).
The mandatory ROTC was abolished in 2002 after the death of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Chua. His killing was linked to his exposé on the anomalies in the training corps.
Education Undersecretary Alain Pascual said the department has proposed measures to avoid abuse of power under the ROTC.
“Aside from that, DepEd has proposed and it is already incorporated in the Senate version an Instructors Academy, an ROTC Instructors Academy where all those who will be teaching ROTC, whether coming from the AFP or coming from DepEd or coming from DND, they will be undergoing a capacity-building training so that all the necessary laws, policies, guidelines and approaches will be given to them,” Pascual said.
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