Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he fully supports the incoming Marcos administration’s plan to reinstate the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training in the country’s basic educaiton system and is fully committed to help the incoming Department of Education (DepEd) chief and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio realize the goal.
“I actually filed the bill to reinstate ROTC in our basic education system and my belief is that military training gives our students additional skills in terms of, for example, disaster response, in terms of responding to calamities, and also other accidents,” Gatchalian said.
“We need to give our senior high school students additional skills,” said the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture chief.
Gatchalian pointed out making the ROTC training mandatory for all Filipinos aged 18 and above, male or female, doesn’t necessarily mean that the Philippines is preparing for any armed conflict.
“Military training doesn’t mean that we want them to go to war, but the discipline, the love for our country, and especially the skills that we can give them will enable them to respond to the time, especially because our country is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of disasters,” he said.
Should the plan to bring it back pushes through, the senator said it is imperative to design the mandatory ROTC around the academics of the students.
“We have to make sure that our students are not overburdened also with a lot of activities. Like I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest complaints of our experts is our curriculum is too congested, so we need to give our students time to study,” he said.
“So in short, I’m leaving this to the discussion in the Senate as to how to design the ROTC, when we bring back ROTC, how to design it properly, but in short, my thoughts on ROTC, it gives additional skills to our students that will enable them to respond to the times,” the lawmaker stressed.
Duterte-Carpio earlier said she hopes that the mandatory military training will be included in the priority legislative agenda of the Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. administration.
“Executive and legislative agenda will be decided between the President and Congress, so I hope that will be included since there are many pending bills in Congress with regard to that,” Duterte-Carpio said in a press briefing in Davao City.