MANILA, Philippines — Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines looks favorably on reviving the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
“The push for the ROTC program would be good if… implemented well,” Florencio said in an interview over Radio Veritas on Tuesday. “The different values that are enshrined in the program could go down to the core of our young people.”
Florencio heads the diocese for police and military personnel nationwide.
“All should support the program of the [Department of National Defense], which means other government agencies, [non-government organizations], and all of the people of the goodwill to be able to attain the maximum results alleviating the problem related to mental health,” he said.
Florencio made the statement in light of the ongoing push in the Senate for the return of the ROTC program for college students.
In his first State of the Nation Address in July 2022, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pushed Congress to pass a law mandating the ROTC program for senior high school students.
The ROTC was made optional through the National Service Training Program Act of 2001 following the brazen killing of a University of Santo Tomas sophomore cadet, Mark Welson Chua, who had exposed corruption in the university’s ROTC program.