MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) said Tuesday it strongly supports President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s call for legislators to prioritize the passage of a law calling for a mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students.
"The PA supports the national defense strategy of our Commander in Chief, which includes the revival of the mandatory ROTC program for our youth. Moreover, the organization trusts the wisdom of our legislators for the program’s revival," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement.
Trinidad said the ROTC program is anchored on the Constitutional provision on the defense of the State.
He noted that the ROTC is a crucial part of the military’s long-term reserve force development plan that instills discipline, patriotism, and nationalistic values in the youth who are considered the future of the nation.
"The Philippine Army, as part of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) reaches out to the youth by providing them with another perspective on nation-building. The proposed revival of mandatory ROTC program will be instrumental in the development of a capable, committed, and well-trained reserve force that will serve as an expansion base for the regular force in times of war, rebellion, or other national emergencies," Trinidad said.
In his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Marcos emphasized the need to renew the ROTC program as a mandatory component of senior high school programs (Grades 11 and 12) in all public and private tertiary-level educational institutions.
"The aim is to motivate, train, organize, and mobilize the students for national defense preparedness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk-related situations," he said. (PNA)