While the proposed law on mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is pending in both houses of Congress, the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Educations (DepEd) are eyeing to jointly implement a pilot program for the coming school year which they call Advanced Citizen Training Program (ACTP).
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Reserve Command commander Brig. Gen. Rolando Rodil told the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture during the hearing on mandatory ROTC a joint curriculum for the two years of the pilot implementation of the program in Grades 11-12 has already been formulated along with an estimated budget of PHP211 million.
The pilot program will be implemented to 100 senior high schools.
“We came up with a draft memorandum of agreement (MOA) that was signed by the (DND and DepEd) Secretaries. It has not just taken off last semester but we plan to implement it in Grades 11 and 12 this coming school year,” Rodil said.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said, during an interview after the hearing, “pwede nang ma-implment ng DepEd at ng DND ang ROTC this coming school year. They will have to implement pilot muna while waiting for the law and the budget. May plano na silang mag-implement in 100 pilot schools para makita nila ang magiging issues na pwedeng lumabas.”
“Kasi DepEd lang to eh, para siyang programa or curriculum na pwedng i-implment ng DepEd sa basic education schools natin. Pero kung malawakan ito at kailangan ng mas malawak na budget, kakailanganin na nito ng batas especially kung gusto nating maging institutional ito,” he added.
“Mandatory sa mag students na nag-aaral doon pero hindi mandatory sa lahat ng eskwelahan,” he explained.
He also noted that the law will probably be signed next congress. “Yung batas for sure next Congress na yan. Hindi kakayanin this Congress dahil marami pang aayusin sa batas,” he said.