Lawmakers are pushing for the revival of the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps following President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for Congress to pass a law for such purpose.
At the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Romeo Abu said his House Bill No. 5113 seeks to make ROTC mandatory for Grades 11 and 12 students in public and private schools.
“I appeal to the House leadership to pass the ROTC bill in line with President Duterte’s desire to revive this aimed at promoting the prime duty of the government to serve and protect the people,” he said.
At the Upper House, Senator Richard Gordon filed a bill proposing to require all college students and those in technical vocational courses to undergo basic citizen service training.
“The Constitution recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation building and seeks to promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It also seeks to inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs,” Gordon said.
“It is the prime duty of the government to serve and protect the people. Corollary to this, the Constitution empowers the government to call upon the people to defend the State and render personal military or civil service. To provide implementing legislation to these basic tenets in the Constitution, this bill proposes to require basic citizen service training, establish the citizen service corps, and creates the citizen service commission for this purpose,” he added.
Gordon’s Senate Bill No. 1417 proposes to establish a Citizen Service Corps to create a pool of trained members who can render personal military or civil service in times of war, lawlessness, and calamities and disasters.
During the recent 35th founding anniversary of the Army Reserve Command at Camp General Mariano Riego de Dios, the President renewed his call for the revival of mandatory ROTC.
“I encourage Congress to enact a law that will require mandatory ROTC for Grades 11 and 12, so we can instill patriotism and love of country among our youth,” Duterte said.