Gatchalian: Passage of mandatory ROTC has ‘better chance’ now
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday said that he believes the move seeking to revive the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) will have a “better chance” in the 18th Congress.
The senator’s remark came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to pass “very important” measures, including the reimposition of mandatory ROTC to strengthen the country’s defense system.
“I think with the new set of Senators, we all know the PDP group has expanded, I think they have five members right now, this stands a better chance and again,” Gatchalian said, referring to the ruling party PDP-Laban.
Gatchalian added that previous versions of the ROTC program should be reinvented to take in current concerns like disaster preparedness amid climate change.
“We need every abled-body to help out during these times. We also built in very strict safeguards to prevent abuses and maltreatment to students as well as the adults,” the senator said.
Further, Gatchalian noted the inclusion of a grievance committee to monitor cases of abuse within the ROTC program.
“We have a grievance committee in all of the schools and we make sure that within 30 days, the resolution of any complaints should be out already. Dapat mabilis kung hindi ay the disciplinary actions will not be effective,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian explained that the reimposition of mandatory ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 seeks to teach the youth discipline, leadership, and preparedness.
“These are the essential tools that they need not only to be prepared [for the] military but also during disasters and when you look for a job,” Gatchalian said.
Also on Tuesday, Senate President Tito Sotto said the revival of mandatory ROTC could pass the Senate.
“Tinitingnan ko yung listahan, pinakikinggan ko kahapon, puro talagang kayang-kaya at talagang dapat. Kailangang-kailangan,” Sotto said.
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