Contrary to what is being peddled by some militant groups, the revival of mandatory Reserved Officers Training Course (ROTC) was meant not only to subject youth to military training but more on instilling discipline to become better citizens of the country.
During a Senate hearing Monday, Brig. Gen. Rolando Rodil, Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command, stressed that the proposed mandatory revival of ROTC to all schools was meant to mold the youth into productive and law-abiding citizens.
“This is to instill discipline, patriotism and community service. Thus, we will have better citizens in the future,” said Rodil.
Rodil assured that if the mandatory ROTC is revived, the AFP, which will be in the forefront of the implementation, have already drafted pro-active measures to prevent irregularities and abuses.
He said among these were the establishment of grievance committee in every school to ensure that issues and concerns of ROTC cadets, including but not limited to corruption and hazing, will be addressed immediately in the campus level.
Rodil stressed that all AFP personnel assigned to ROTC units will be strictly covered by the Articles of War in the performance of their duties.
Some major groups of schools and universities expressed support to the revival of ROTC, namely, the Association of Local Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (ALCUCOA) and PCRAI.
Lawyer Raymundo Arcega, of ALCUCOA and vice president of University of Makati, said the group has no problem with the moves to revive ROTC but warned the military not to repeat previous mistakes of attracting the youth to join the training.
Rose Balgos, secretary general of PCRAI, stressed that ROTC training are not purely military.
“There are disaster preparedness and emergency response training…it trains the youngsters to become good citizens,” said Balgos.
On the other hand, some militant groups like Anakbayan and Kabataan partylist expressed their opposition to the move to revive ROTC.