2 million reservists to join AFP annually once ROTC becomes mandatory
MANILA, Philippines — Around two million reservists will augment the reserve force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) every year once the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) becomes mandatory again.
“Every year, if ROTC becomes mandatory, we expect an additional two million students from all of the universities,” said Major General Joel Alejandro Nacnac, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservists and Retiree Affairs of the AFP.
He made the statement during a press conference to mark the National Reservists Week.
Nacnac said the projected servicemen from ROTC will be classified as a standby reserve.
A standby reserve is mobilized only in times of national emergency or war.
They are different from the “ready reservists,” who can be called at any time to add to the regular forces.
As of June 2023, AFP reserve force is at 1.2 million.
It is composed of over 71,000 “ready reservists,” more than 15,000 affiliated units from other organizations and institutions, and 1.1 million standby reservists.
Most of the reservists are from the Philippine Army.
The return of mandatory ROTC is backed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte.
The bill for this purpose is now up for plenary debates on Senate floor.
ROTC was made optional through the National Service Training Program Act of 2001 following the brazen killing of University of Santo Tomas sophomore cadet Mark Welson Chua.
Chua had exposed corruption in the university’s ROTC program.