PHL eyes reserve force same with Israel, Switzerland

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that calling Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) graduates into limited active military service is “very possible”, and the Philippines may pattern formation of reserve force based on what Switzerland and Israel are doing.

“Other countries do it, like Switzerland, Israel. They have a small standing armed force backed by a huge reserve force that continually trains with the active force,” Secretary Lorenzana said. “What we envision in our country is the same.”

The defense chief said they are looking at the possibility of each region having a reserve unit, consisting of retired military officers and ROTC graduates with a core group of active duty officers and enlisted personnel.

“Their cadres will be active military. They will have their Regional HQ with armories where they will keep their individual firearms. They can use these firearms during training,” he said.

“If they are used in combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief they will have official orders calling them for limited active duty, like we did with the Lanao del Norte Reserve Battalion during the Marawi Siege”, Lorenzana said.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on February 26 that “if things get worse, I will allow the mobilization and the maybe purchase of the ROTC and those guys who have had military training and I will allow you to use, bear the high-caliber firearms.”