Since the start of my term as a Senator back in 2019, I have been a staunch advocate of sports and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for the youth. After all, I am the president of the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas and a Brigadier General of the Philippine Army (Res).
For those who are still unfamiliar, the ROTC is a program designed to provide military training to tertiary level students with the aim of preparing the country’s national defense. With the increasing tensions in the Asia-Pacific Region, urgent calls to reinstate ROTC as a mandatory subject were made. I was one of those ardently pushing for this to happen. ROTC programs, including sports, would instill discipline, sense of leadership, teamwork, and patriotism in our Filipino youths.
As such, we are in the midst of the creation of a project – the Philippine ROTC Games – which aims to revitalize the ROTC through sports to encourage the youth to enlist. In addition, a revamp of the ROTC program would follow by highlighting camaraderie through sports. I believe that the total development of a person requires that he is not only intellectually prepared but physically fit.
These games would also be an avenue for the discovery of talented Filipinos, especially those in the provinces and provide a platform for ROTC cadets to compete in Olympic-level, national sports association-sanctioned sporting events, as a contribution to the total development of the Filipino youth.