President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.
The course will be mandatory for Grades 11 and 12 students in both public and private school, Malacañang said Tuesday..
In a statement, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte and his Cabinet “approved” the mandatory ROTC program during a meeting in Malacañang.
In a Facebook post, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said “the approval by the President came after the members discussed the issue thoroughly.”
“This will now be forwarded to Congress and Senate and certified as urgent by President Duterte,” Piñol said.
He said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana proposed an amendment to Republic Act 7077 or the “Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act” to make ROTC mandatory.
“ROTC instills patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual values, respect for human rights and adherence to the Constitution,” Piñol quoted Lorenzana as saying.
The ROTC was made optional in 2002 following the controversy that resulted in the death of Mark Chua, a University of Sto. Tomas student. He was allegedly killed after exposing fund mismanagement.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE