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Mandatory ROTC to strengthen students’ character and resiliency

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Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Department of National Defense (DND) made it clear that the expanded Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program will enable recruits to strengthen their character and resilience, traits that are thought to promote excellent mental health.

After some stories stated that ROTC would help “treat” or handle mental health concerns, the DND chief clarified the situation on Monday night.

Galvez added, “We have learnt of the sensitivities expressed by our mental health practitioners and advocates on what they consider is the incorrect use of the word ‘cure’ at the Senate hearing on Monday, February 6.”

The DND chief stated that because mental health is a problem that impacts the widest swath of society, they understood and valued the worries of various groups.

Galvez stated, “What we tried to express throughout the hearing was that with our expanded ROTC program, we would be able to build our cadets’ character strength and resilience, attributes which positively encourage mental health.

The basic psychological support competencies that are essential for responding to difficult situations and contexts are another goal of the ROTC program, he continued.

Galvez emphasized that the DND’s proposed ROTC program contains classes that are especially created to promote self-leadership, resilience, character development, and discipline.

In addition to helping them grow personally and develop as people, these virtues, according to him, will also help them play a significant part in establishing a just, compassionate, and democratic society.

Galvez also gave the public the assurance that when designing the ROTC training curriculum, DND leadership would carefully consider both the letter and the spirit of Republic Act 11036 (Mental Health Act of 2018) as well as the concerns voiced by our mental health specialists.

77 fresh top AFP officers swear to serve.

The DND reported that 77 newly appointed and promoted Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) generals and flag officers took their oath before President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at Malacaan Palace after a three-year break caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

One of the most significant traditions of the AFP is taking the oath in front of the chief executive and commander in chief, according to a statement from DND spokeswoman Arsenio Andolong.

He said, “On Monday, February 6, 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. administered the oath of office to 77 senior officials of the AFP — the first time the ritual was conducted since he was elected to office.

The newly promoted officers were congratulated by the President, who also reminded them of “the new mission that our Armed Forces must face in this day and age.”

The Chief Executive also stressed the AFP’s critical function in safeguarding the nation’s interests in the midst of the challenging security environment. Because of this, Marcos continued, “it is up to us to make sure that we thoroughly understand how to use the tools that are provided to us for the best impact for the national good.”

Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP Lt. Gen. Arthur M. Cordura, Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy Lt. Gen. Rowen S. Tolentino, Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Toribio D. Adaci Jr., Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen P. Parreo, Commander of the AFP Southern Luzon Command, and others were among the officers who took the oath.

According to Galvez, “taking our oath is a moral and emotional commitment to execute our duty, serve our nation and people, and support the superiority of civilian power over military authority.”

He continued by saying that the fact that the commander in chief presided over this ceremony demonstrated the respect and unwavering backing the AFP had from the national leadership.

“We are grateful to the President for the importance he accorded to this turning point in the selfless service of the protectors of our republic as well as to their families, who also bear the hardships and sacrifice that each of our soldiers faces when they risk their lives for our country and people,” he continued.

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