Two city councilors have expressed support to the bill reinstating the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in public and private senior high schools as a way to inculcate values among the Filipino youth.
Bacolod City Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairman of police matters and peace and order, said he believes that undergoing the mandatory military training would instill discipline and respect for hierarchy among students.
“I’m in favor of reviving the ROTC as part of the curriculum. I think it’s a laudable legislative endeavor. I will advocate the return of ROTC,” he added.
Espino said discipline and respect were what he learned himself from ROTC in college.
He also said those who have military training as students will be able to defend the country if needed.
Meanwhile, Councilor Israel Salanga, the youngest city councilor, said he also supports the proposed law for mandatory ROTC, which is the priority legislation of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The ROTC program will inculcate patriotism, nationalism, and discipline among the youth,” said Salanga, who was also an ROTC cadet while he was studying at Bacolod City College.
Through military training, young people, particularly students, can also develop their physical, moral, intellectual, and social well-being and get involved in public and civic affairs, he added.
“As the saying goes, ‘It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war’ which in my opinion suggests that it is best that a country’s workforce are military-trained,” Salanga said.
He also cited Section 4, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution, which partly states “the government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required under conditions provided by law to render personal military or civil service.”
On December 20, an ROTC summit, which will be attended by around 2,500 cadets from selected colleges and universities and uniformed personnel, will be held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
It will be led by the Office of the President through the Presidential Management Staff and Presidential Security Group, in coordination with the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through the Office of the Reservist and Retiree Affairs.
The event will feature the silent drill competition among the best cadets in the Philippine Military Academy, Philippine National Police Academy, Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific, Philippine Army Officer Candidate School, Philippine Navy Officer Candidate School, and the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School. (PNA)