Gatchalian sees swift passage of ROTC bill in 18th Congress
MANILA, Philippines — The bill seeking to make the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory could be passed much faster in the next Congress, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Monday.
Gatchalian said President Rodrigo Duterte’s certification of the Senate Bill No. 2232 as urgent will pave the way for its quick passage in the 18th Congress.
“Yan ay nangangahulugan na gusto ng presidente at parte ito ng kanyang polisiya at ang Senado ay bibigyan yan ng pahalaga (That means the President wants it and it is part of his policies so the Senate will prioritize it),” Gatchalian told reporters in an interview at the Senate.
“Tingin ko mas mapapa-bilis ‘yung debate at pag-uusap sa both sa lower House at dito sa Senado ( I think the debate and discussion will be swift both in the lower house and the Senate),” he added.
Gatchalian, who is the sponsor of the measure, said the bill will be re-filed in the next Congress as it was not passed in the 17th Congress due to time constraints.
The senator said the bill seeks to include male and female Grade 11 and 12 students in the coverage of the mandatory ROTC.
Students with disabilities, however, can choose to participate in the program, Gatchalian said.
Under the program, students will not only learn military skills but disaster preparedness and other lessons.
“Gusto natin mas magaling at yung ating kabataan ay madagdagdan ng kaalaman at itong ROTC, nakikita namin ay isang paraan para tumibay yung ating bansa (We want to strengthen the skills of our youth and ROTC is one way to impart those skills),” Gatchalian said.
“Tama na ito ay magtuturo ng patriotism at nationalism but more so titibay yung ating bansa dahil yung ating kabataan ngayon ay madadgdagan yung kanilang kaalaman (This will teach patriotism and nationalism and will strengthen our country because our youth will have more skills),” he added. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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