Weapons training included in ROTC program

Weapons training will be also be provided to Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) trainees, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday.

“Basic weapons training on AFP-issued firearms will be conducted to ROTC cadets. From small arms like M1911 .45-caliber pistol, M-16 rifle to (the) 105mm howitzer cannons depending on the unit that handles the school department of Citizens Military Training,” Detoyato told the Philippine News Agency when asked on whether such kind of training will be extended to the reservists.

Aside from firing and operating these weapons, Detoyato said instructions on how to assemble and disassemble these firearms will also be provided.

“Points of instruction usually include assembly and disassembly of weapons and familiarization firing which depends on the school’s approval,” the AFP official added.

Besides firearms, ROTC cadets will be also given disaster response training to give them an all-around capability.

“Training on disaster response will also be given emphasis as this is an important role ROTC cadets has to be prepared to perform in times of disaster,” Detoyato stressed.

Earlier, the Department of National Defense said mandatory ROTC bill is not “military-centric” but is also focused on values formation.

House Bill 8961 has three major aspects in the program of instruction: 
* enhancing 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”;

* basic military training to “motivate, train, organize, and utilize for national defense preparedness or civil-military operations”;

* and civic training 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. PNA