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Bato informs anti-ROTC organizations that “hearing your sentiments is enough.”

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Senator Ronaldo Dela Rosa stated on Monday that just because youth organizations had the opportunity to voice their opposition to the reinstatement of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for college students in the Senate did not entail that their views should be adopted.

During the continuation of the Senate Subcommittee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education public hearing on the revival of the ROTC, Dela Rosa responded when asked if he takes into consideration the suggestion made by Justine Rapahel Balane, Chairperson of the Akbayan Youth, and Ken Paolo Gilo, Chairperson of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP).

My name is Pinakinggan. At least namin nalaman yung side ninyo, tama na yung pinakinggan ka. If you expressed interest in ROTC, we would be willing to join. We know your side at least after hearing you, so that’s enough. Dela Rosa told reporters for the Senate, “If you don’t want ROTC, we want ROTC.

Gilo advocated for the extension of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) rather than the ROTC’s revival during the hearing that was presided over by Dela Rosa.

“We back the suggestion to expand NSTP instead. All students who desire to become teachers, community volunteers, or reserve officers should receive encouragement, according to Gilo. “Why not use these funds in a different way to address the lack of 91,000 classrooms instead of creating a budget for two years of ROTC? This will benefit the hundreds of thousands of students who cannot afford a college degree as well as the circumstances in our institutions.

Dela Rosa claimed that despite the NSTP’s implementation during the previous 21 years, the youth’s literacy rate has remained low.

The previous head of the Philippine National Police said, “NSTP has a fine aim but maybe [the difficulty is] in] its implementation. Maganda sana ang objective niyan, maar siguro sa implementation.

A concern that the intended ROTC resurrection will just emphasize military doctrine was also allayed by him.

as spelled out in the Constitution

Dela Rosa referenced Article II, Section IV of the Constitution, which states that the government’s primary responsibility is to serve and safeguard the people. All citizens may be forced to provide personal military or civil service under the criteria set forth by law in order to satisfy the government’s demand for the people to defend the State.

He claimed that under this clause of the Constitution, the government has the authority to decide whether or not its citizens should enlist in the military in times of conflict or emergency.

“What if the government requests that you perform military service because we are being attacked or invaded? How would you respond then? What military service can you provide if you lack military experience, ano ang maibigay mong military duty kung wala kang? said Dela Rosa.

Schedule and dedication

Before the Senate adjourns its regular session on March 25, Dela Rosa hopes to make his sponsorship speech on the proposed ROTC rebirth bill and maybe get the legislation ratified before the end of the year.

Therefore, the Department of National Defense (DND) would idadagdag na sa budget requirements nila yung establishment ng ROTC next year. The DND will include the adoption of ROTC in its budgetary requirements as of 2024. They might be able to begin the deployment as early as 2024, he suggested.

The hearing was personally attended by DND Secretary Carlito Galvez, who told the senators that the ROTC’s revival will further inspire, organize, train, and mobilize students for national defense readiness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building to risk-related scenarios.

In light of the current situation, Galvez remarked, “we will, in the military department, specifically how we can implement the reinstitution of the required ROTC program in the tertiary and vocational levels.”

“The Armed Forces (of the Philippines) is very, very professional, for the information of everyone,” he continued. “I would like to thank the AFP after being rated as number one and the best institution in terms of service.”

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