Palace to push for revival of compulsory ROTC for college students
Malacañang is pushing for the revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to instill patriotism and discipline among college students.
Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the revival of the mandatory ROTC was discussed during the Cabinet meeting on Monday.
“Yung ROTC revived para kasi wala na raw yung, hindi na nai-instill yung discipline, yung love of country (The ROTC would be revived to instill discipline and love of country [among the students]),” Panelo said in a chance interview with reporters on Tuesday.
The ROTC, a military training program, was made optional under the National Service Training Program (NSTP) in 2001 in response to fatal hazing activities.
Under the two-year NSTP, students may choose from three options on which program to take: the ROTC, the literary training service or the civic welfare training service.
Panelo said amending the NSTP program was a “consensus” during the Cabinet meeting, adding that he would review the possible ammendments.
“Ako ang balak ko is (I plan and) I will study the ROTC and then maybe I will recommend to the President kung anong amendment ang pwede (the appropriate amendment),” he said.
He said the Duterte administration would ask allies in Congress to sponsor the proposed ammendments.
The mandatory ROTC, he said, would include women.
Asked if President Rodrigo Duterte was in favor of this, he said “oo, tumango lang siya (yes, he just nodded).”
Panelo said the mandatory ROTC wa proposed by Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) chairman Patricia Licuanan during the meeting.
” CHEd ang nagumpisa. Siya nag-research nun. Si Licuanan. Siya nag-present (CHEd started it. Licuanan researched and presented it),” he said.
The Palace official said he himself experienced the kind of discipline under the ROTC.
“Ako nag-ROTC ako iba dun. Talagang didisiplinahin ka dun. Hindi pwede yung mga ganitong suot. Hindi pwedeng mahabang buhok don, talagang kakalbuhin ka dun. Sasapakin ka ng commandant kapag di ka sumusunod. Bibigyan ka ng disiplina,” he said.
(I underwent ROTC. You will really be disciplined there. You have to dress appropriately. You cannot sport long hair because your hair will be shaved. The commandant will punch you if you don’t follow orders. You will be disciplined there.)
But Panelo said provisions to prevent abuse would be included.
“Actually implementation lang naman ang naging problema doon. Ang ginawa nila hindi na kaagad nila inimplement just because there were abuses. E di cure mo yung abuses (Actually implementation was the problem. It wasn’t implemented just because there were abuses. The solution is to cure the abuses),” he said. RAM
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