Gov’t needs P16 B for mandatory ROTC — Nograles
MANILA, Philippines — The government needs at least P16 billion if mandatory military training would be implemented for senior high school students, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-List Rep. Jericho Nograles revealed on Sunday.
According to Nograles, there are around 4 million grade 11 and 12 students in the country that would be affected by the plan to make the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory.
With the said number, students should have proper belts, t-shirts, pants, and other ROTC needs for their training. This, Nograles said, would have an estimated cost of P4,000 worth of uniform for each student.
“With all of these materials para mag uniform ang isang estudyante, at 4,000 pesos [each], that’s already 16 billion pesos. With 16 billion pesos, sino magbabayad niyan? Taxpayer,” Nograles said in an interview with dzBB.
It could be however noted that Nograles re-filed in the 18th Congress a bill to require a mandatory ROTC training for Senior High students for both public and private schools.
According to Nograles, making ROTC mandatory is a matter of national defense and not just an education matter.
“Ang ROTC, ang objective po niyan ay mabigay ang correct number of reservist needed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.
“Ang sitwasyon natin, ang reservist natin siguro ay nasa 70,000 lamang at 120,000 ang active natin na sundalo,” he added.
Nograles noted that the number stated is far behind from what the Defense Department of the Philippines needed which is less than a million.
He added said that whether or not the ROTC would be mandatory, the topic should be tackled seriously in both chambers of Congress.
“Whether it is mandatory, optional, selective, o lottery system, these are all options na kailangan natin pag-aralan at kailangan nating pagdebatihan para hindi naman siya unfair to all parties concern,” he said.
He also urged students, parents, and alumni of ROTC to speak up on the plans of the government to revive the mandatory training among senior high school students.
“Sa ating mga students, dapat iparinig niyo sa mga congressman [yung thoughts niyo]. Kung menor de edad kayo, gamitin niyo yung mga parents because parents also have a say. Iyong mga menor de edad, gusto ba nila na ipapasok sa mandatory ROTC or hindi,” Nograles said in an interview with dzBB.
“I think dapat ring pakinggan ang mga dating nag ROTC na mandatory at sila ay makapag share ng kanilang experiences to put into record at mapakinggan sila ng mga mambabatas,” he added.
According to Nograles, the topic on the mandatory ROTC is still “open” for public discussion “at this point of time.” /je
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