Mandatory ROTC approved in final reading in HOR

The House of Representatives, voting 167-4, has approved House Bill 8961 which seeks to revive mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for grades 11 and 12 in both government and private schools.

There are three major program of instruction under the said bill. First, enhancing the students consciousness in the ethics of service, patriotism and nationalism, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop personal discipline and leadership, and to encourage creative thinking for scientific and technological development.

Second, basic military training for students in order motivate, train, organize, and utilize for national defense preparedness or civil-military operations.

Third, civic training for students in order to be active participants and volunteers for the development of and improvement of health, education, ecology and environmental protection, disaster risk reduction and management, human and civil rights awareness, and law enforcement.

The bill also stipulates four exemptions: physically or psychologically unfit as certified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Surgeon General or his authorized medical officer; those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training; those who were chosen by their school to serve as varsity players in sports competitions; those exempt from training for valid reasons as approved by the Department of National Defense upon recommendation of the school.