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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Mandatory ROTC gaining traction among solons

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Vice President and incoming Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio’s call to reinstate the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is gaining more support from lawmakers and education officials.

Incoming Quezon City Rep. Arjo Atayde said Monday the proposal is interesting but must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure the best for the learners.

On Sunday, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa vowed to refile the bill seeking mandatory ROTC which he filed during the 18th Congress. Dela Rosa said he was “willing to author a bill” in line with the vice president’s proposal. The ROTC bill was one of the top 10 priority bills of Dela Rosa in the last Congress.

Under Dela Rosa’s proposal, the mandatory ROTC program will be introduced in Grades 11 and 12 in both public and private schools.

Earlier, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he supports Duterte’s goal as the program will “provide students with additional skills for disaster and calamities response, and even in accidents.”

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Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III said last week he was “generally supportive” of having ROTC at the university level.

However, he said they would have to wait for lawmakers to officially come up with a statement on their version.

Duterte said she is hopeful that mandatory ROTC will be part of the legislative agenda of the incoming administration, under President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

She, meanwhile, has secured her first in-person transition meeting with Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones, who also agreed to be the next admin’s “consultant” for education.

The DepEd said both parties have agreed to move urgently for the budget and guidelines for the reinstatement proposal.

CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera meanwhile said he also wants to see a proposed legislation. De Vera, in a report said he is opting to wait for the new administration to begin their official duties before sharing plans of the CHED. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

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