Dela Rosa backs mandatory ROTC, cites declining number of reservists
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Sunday reiterated his support for the reimposition of the mandatory Basic Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for Grade 11 and 12 students.
Dela Rosa, who formerly served as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said that the move would promote patriotism among the youth.
Military and civil service
Those who completed the basic ROTC program would not only be summoned in the event of a war, but would likewise be asked to assist in rescue and relief operations in times of disaster, Dela Rosa said.
“The object is to produce a group of well-trained and prepared reservists for military and civil service,” Dela Rosa said in a statement.
He added that some foreign nations also require male citizens to serve in the military for two years upon reaching the age of 18.
Under the law
Under Senate Bill No. 227, otherwise known as an Act Mandating the Institutionalization, Development, Training, Organization and Administration of Basic Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in Grades 11 and 12 in Public and Private Educational Institutions, those who will not be able to complete the program would not be eligible for graduation.
Dela Rosa said those who complete the basic ROTC program would be eligible for lateral entry and enlistment in the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
During the enrolment in the program — basic or advance ROTC — students are given free hospitalization in any government hospital in the event of an accident or injury during trainings.
Insurance is also provided for students undergoing ROTC.
Dela Rosa lamented that there was a decline in the number of enrolees in ROTC programs since the implementation of Republic Act No. 9163, also known as the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001, which made ROTC a voluntary option.
Citing data from the Department of National Defense (DND), Dela Rosa said that there was a 14 percent decline in the number of ROTC enrolees since it was made voluntary.
“The number of reservists that can fulfill the Citizen Armed Force mission reduced as well. As of July 2018, there are only 398,988 total AFP reserve force,” Dela Rosa said in a statement. /gsg
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