DND suggests changing ‘mandatory ROTC’ to ‘mandatory military training’
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. on Wednesday suggested renaming the proposed “mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)” to “mandatory military training.”
Teodoro said doing so would provide more clarity and manage trainees’ expectations.
“Sana mapalitan ang nomenclature ng ROTC para ang ekspektasyon ng mga bata ay hindi umangat, kasi hindi lahat magiging opisyal; kailangan may sundalo,” Teodoro said during a Senate panel deliberation on the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) amounting to P229.93 billion.
(I hope the nomenclature of ROTC can be changed so that the expectations of the youth won’t be raised because not all will become officers; a soldier is needed.)
“Kaya gawing mandatory military training na lang kasi (So let’s change it to mandatory military training because) we choose the best. This is the truth,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is currently assessing the structure of reserve forces, especially since the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force may need additional support troops during a state of danger.
According to Teodoro, different sets of abilities are required in being a soldier – skills in computer science, engineering, international relations, and psychology, among others. These, he explained, can be obtained through training.
“So hindi lang po para sa reserve force ang ROTC ngunit pang-fill up ng tenyente sa regular force, so importante po ang ROTC,” he continued.
(So ROTC is not only for the reserve force but to fill up the lieutenant in the regular force, so ROTC is important.)
He assured the senators that DND is already preparing its capabilities to effectively teach future trainees.
For Senator Robinhood Padilla, it is lamentable that the proposed mandatory ROTC is not being received warmly.
“Nalulungkot ako, ‘di ganoon kainit reception. Sa inyo nanggaling kailangan maghanda. Sana maging senyales ito para buong Senado sumuporta sa Mandatory ROTC or mandatory military training. ‘Yan talaga lagi ko sinasabi ang disiplina kailangan natin makuha,” he said.
(I’m feeling sad that the reception isn’t as warm. You already said it, we need to prepare.I hope this will signal the entire Senate to support Mandatory ROTC or mandatory military training. That’s really what I always say, that we need to acquire discipline.)
The neophyte lawmaker asked Senator Bato Dela Rosa if a separate bill should be filed involving mandatory military training. Dela Rosa said they should approach the matter “gently” due to expected resistance.
“We just temper down dahil hirap tayo sa tanggap sa ROTC… you will face strong resistance. Kaya break it to them gently,” said Dela Rosa.
(We temper down because we are having difficulty getting ROTC accepted… you will face strong resistance. So, break it to them gently.)
Teodoro made another suggestion. This time, to name it “Military Orientation Training,”
“Baguhin ang (Change the) nomenclature [ng] dahan-dahan (slowly) [since] it’s very hard to reintroduce that … nomenclature lang ‘yan (It’s just nomenclature), we can go to the period of amendments,” dela Rosa said.
Padilla volunteered to amend the bill on mandatory ROTC.