The Philippine Army (PA) says it strongly supports the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for legislators to prioritize the passage of a bill calling for mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students.
Meanwhile, a total of 122 student officers have successfully hurdled the Command and General Staff Course Class (CGSC) Class 72, meant to provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with its next generation of leaders.
In another development, 1,310 donors from various military units and other sectors responded to the call to donate blood, resulting in the collection of 601 blood bags last June 24.
“The PA supports the national defense strategy of our Commander in Chief, which includes the revival of the mandatory ROTC program for our youth. Moreover, the organization trusts the wisdom of our legislators for the program’s revival,” Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement.
Trinidad noted that the ROTC program was anchored on the constitutional provision on national defense.
He also said the ROTC was a crucial part of the military’s long-term reserve force development plan that “instills discipline, patriotism, and nationalistic values in the youth who are considered the future of the nation.”
“The Philippine Army, as part of the AFP reaches out to the youth by providing them with another perspective on nation-building. The proposed revival of mandatory ROTC program will be instrumental in the development of a capable, committed, and well-trained reserve force that will serve as an expansion base for the regular force in times of war, rebellion, or other national emergencies,” Trinidad said.
In his State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. emphasized the need to renew the ROTC program as a mandatory component of senior high school programs (Grades 11 and 12) in all public and private tertiary-level educational institutions.
“The aim is to motivate, train, organize, and mobilize the students for national defense preparedness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk-related situations,” Marcos said.
In a statement, AFP public affairs chief Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto said the new batch of officers graduated from the prestigious CGSC last June 23 during rites held at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
“The CGSC is a course taken by AFP officers which aims to equip them with necessary skills for higher responsibilities and to become effective military commanders, leaders, and managers,” he added.
The guest-of-honor for this event was AFP chief Gen. Andres Centino who expressed confidence that these newly-graduated CGSC-qualified officers will uphold the professionalism and excellence of the Armed Forces.
“Remember that the knowledge and skills you have acquired come with a responsibility to serve our country with honor, integrity and dedication. Each of you is part of the proud legacy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, joining the ranks of leaders and visionaries who have come before you and served our nation with distinction,” Centino said.
The CGSC Class 72 consists of 122 student officers from the AFP’s major services, technical administrative services, and other agencies.
Ileto said these military officials were declared graduates after completing the course for nine months.
Trinidad said the “Dugong Alay Ko, Dugtong sa Buhay Mo” was a project of the Philippine Red Cross, Rizal chapter led by Jean Joselyn Maria Año in partnership with the military, specifically the Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Service Command (AFPHSC), the Army General Hospital, the Philippine Army Officer’s Ladies Club, and the Army Lakambini Consumers Cooperative.
Trinidad said the blood-letting event activity was held at the Philippine Army grandstand and the Luna Hall of the Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
“The activity raised 601 blood bags (450 cc per bag) from 1,310 checked-in donors. The AFP Medical Center will receive 282 blood bags, while 319 for the Philippine Red Cross. The PA gets 179 vouchers (one voucher is equivalent to one blood bag) from the blood bags collected or 30 percent share,” Trinidad said.
Donors from the Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Navy, the Marine Corps, the Philippine National Police, the Metro Manila Development Authority, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets and reservists took part in the project.
The event was held in support of World Blood Donor Day last June 14.
“On this meaningful event, as we celebrate World Blood Donor Day, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to our partners, sponsors, and especially our blood donors for participating in this life-saving initiative. Remember that your generosity and compassion have significantly impacted the lives of those in need,” PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said.