Aside from preparing the youth to deal with external threats to respond to disasters, a Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) training will enhance respect for human rights, Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla said on Tuesday.
Padilla, who filed Senate Bill No. 236 or the Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps Act, said mandatory ROTC – which teaches discipline and related skills to the youth – includes respect for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
“Kasanayan sa Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Isa po ito sa naiibang sangkap ng panukalang batas na ating inihain dito sa Mataas na Kapulungan. Naniniwala ang inyong lingkod na magiging napakahalagang sangkap po ng Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps ang kaalaman sa pagtataguyod ng karapatang pantao kaalinsabay ng pagsasanay para sa ating national defense program (Training for human rights and humanitarian law – this is one of the unique components of the bill that was filed in the Senate. I believe respect for human rights will be a key part of mandatory ROTC),” he said.
He added the basic ROTC Program will have training for external and territorial defense, including dealing with potential conflicts in our territory in the West Philippine Sea.
Similarly, he said this will help prepare our youth to help respond to the direct and indirect effects of geopolitical tensions.
“Naniniwala ako na nararapat lamang na maihanda natin ang ating mga kabataan upang matiyak ang seguridad ng Estado sa oras na hingin nito ng pagkakataon (I believe we should prepare our youths to ensure the security of the state once needed),” said Padilla.
Also, he said mandatory ROTC will help in the training of youths for internal security, peace and order and public safety, to address threats to the daily security of Filipinos.
Padilla also said the mandatory ROTC can help prepare youths for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. “Hangad natin na magkaroon ng organisadong grupo na aalalay sa pamahalaan upang sumagip ng buhay sa panahon ng sakuna (We want to have an organized group to help the government save lives during times of disaster),” he said.
Meanwhile, Padilla clarified there are exemptions for those who are “physically or mentally unfit to render military service,” as well as persons with disability, and those convicted of criminal offenses involving moral turpitude. Exempted as well are those with issues due to faith, as well as those who underwent sa “similar military trainng from a previous undergraduate degree or diploma program.”
Alternatives for such exemptions include Special National Service Training na binubuo ng mga sumusunod: Literacy Training Service Program; Civic Welfare Training Service Program; Emergency Life Support Training Service Program; Search and Rescue Training Program; and the Community Service for Drug Rehabilitation.