House begins talks on bid to revive mandatory ROTC

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2019 03:53 PM

University of the Philippines students under the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) perform a military drill on April 30, 2017 at the Diliman campus in Quezon City. The Duterte administration is pushing for a return of the ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 in public and private schools. Manny Palmero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The House of Representatives began Wednesday plenary deliberations on the proposal to revive the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) for Senior High School students.

House Committee on Basic Education Chair Red Durano sponsored House Bill 8961, a consolidation of three other proposals, on the floor.

The bill establishes a mandatory basic ROTC program for students enrolled in grades 11 and 12, both in public and private schools as a requirement for graduation.

The following however will be exempted from the requirement if the bill becomes law:

-Those physically or psychologically unfit as certified by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Surgeon General or his authorized medical officer

-Those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training

-Those who were chosen by their school to serve as the school’s varsity players in sports competitions

-Those exempted from training for valid reasons as approved by the Department of National Defense

The bill also provides for an advance ROTC program in tertiary institutions which shall be governed by section 40 of Republic Act 4077. 

It mandates the secretary of National Defense, in consultation with the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to prescribe the organization and operational manual of ROTC units in public and private educational institutions.

At the same time, the bill provides incentives for undergoing the ROTC program. 

It mandates graduates of basic ROTC who have completed a 4-year baccalaureate degree shall be considered first level Civil Service eligible whereas graduates of advance ROTC who have finished a 4-year baccalaureate degree shall be considered a second level civil service eligible in the civil service. 

Graduates of Basic ROTC shall be eligible for commissionship/lateral entry and enlistment in the AFP, Philippine National Police, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

Students undergoing basic and advance ROTC are provided with free hospitalization in any government hospital in case of accident or injury during the training.