TAKING up Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC) will soon be mandatory. This developed after the House Committee on Basic Education approved on January 29, 2019 the Substitute Bill which seeks to re-institutionalize mandatory ROTC in Senior High School.
Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu, one of the principal authors of the said measure, moved for its approval before the committee. With no objections from his fellow lawmakers, the bill was approved.
The approval of the Substitute Bill was prioritized by the House Leadership of former President and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as the mandatory ROTC bill was classified as a priority bill of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
It covers the conduct of basic military and civic training to all students and must be completed within an academic period of two years.
The bill also contains a provision which safeguards against minors being unjustly included in active conflict and hostilities.
While Basic ROTC is a requirement for graduation, the bill leaves Advance ROTC courses in the hands of the students. The continuation of ROTC is no longer mandatory and will be governed by the existing RA 7077.
Graduates of mandatory basic ROTC are eligible for commissionship or lateral entry into the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It does not, however, automatically recruit graduates into the AFP.
The Bill is set to be submitted to the plenary where it is to be deliberated upon on second reading before Congress adjourns next week.|PMA