President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the bill making the Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for all students in public and private schools all over the Philippines.
In a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday, May 3, President Duterte wants the immediate enactment of Senate Bill 2232 in order ‘to restore basic military and leadership training for the youth in order to invigorate their sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary in defending the State and to further promote their vital role in nation building’.
The House of Representatives passed a counterpart of the said bill on May 20 during its third and final reading.
Under House Bill 8961, students in grades 11 and 12 will need to undergo the ROTC program as a requirement for graduation. Only individuals deemed physically or psychologically unfit, and varsity students will be exempted from taking the program.