The Department of Education (DepEd) will closely monitor the implementation of the Reserved Officers’ Training program once it becomes mandatory for senior high school students.
DepEd Usec. Tonisito Umali on Sunday, Feb. 10, acknowledged that ROTC became optional for college students following issues of corruption and the death of Mark Chua, a student of the University of Santo Tomas after exposing the said controversies.
In order to prevent such issues from plaguing the return of mandatory ROTC, Umali said that DepEd will ensure that the program will not violate laws against any form of child abuse or bullying.
“Lahat nung mga negatibong naririnig natin o nangyayari nun araw, ang posisyon ng DepEd dapat lahat nito ay kailangan tutukan at siguraduhin hindi na mangyari,” Umali said during DZRH’s Maynila Ito Ang Pilipinas.
“Tutukan natin at sisiguraduhin natin hindi mangyayari kung magiging batas na itong ROTC bill na pinasa sa Kamara,” Umali assured critics of the proposed mandatory ROTC program.
The DepEd official also mentioned that high-school students undergo Citizen’s Army Training (CAT) but the program has never been implicated in controversies.
Meanwhile, Umali said that DepEd is coordinating with the Department of National Defense (DND) for the ROTC program to center on teaching leadership to students per the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte.
While there will still be military training, he explained that it will be lessened, and, instead, the ROTC program will focus more on developing the survival skills, first aid knowledge, map reading, and the nationalism of the student.
“Magiging iba ito kasi yung focus natin talaga is in fostering nationalism, love for country, patriotism. Yung kanilang leadership qualities to be enhanced at yung survival skill ng bata, iyon ang focus ng gusto natin mangyari,” Umali explained.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday, Feb. 6, passed House Bill 8961 in a second reading.
The measure seeks to amend Republic Act 7077, also known as the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act, in order to require all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institution to undergo ROTC training before graduating.
The President has repeatedly called for the revival of the mandatory ROTC training in the belief that