MANILA, Philippines – The National Service Training Program (NSTP) will undergo a major revamp this year with college students being required to initially undergo a 25-hour lecture module before they can choose which of the 3 program tracks they want to pursue.
The Philippine military sees this development as an opportunity to make the Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC), which is managed by the military, “more attractive”.
Enacted in 2001 as a response to calls to revamp the ROTC, then a required course for all male college students and reportedly prone to abuses, the NSTP law effectively made the ROTC optional as it gave students the option to take two other tracks the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), or the Literacy Training Service (LTS).
The NSTP law requires all students in the tertiary level, including those taking 2-year vocational courses, to take any of the three separate tracks for 60 hours.
The NSTP’s implementing rules were amended last February, however, to pave the way for a common module that all college students must now take.
Philippine Army spokesman Maj. Ronald Jess Alcudia said this module intends to help college students understand the NSTP and its components – the ROTC, the CWTS and the LTS.
According to Alcudia, "We are making our ROTC more attractive for the youth…This is optional but the defense of our country should not be optional," said Alcudia.
He said that through the lecture series, students will be made aware of disaster response preparations, leadership and national security issues.
Alcudia could not say what will be the nature of the lecture on national security, saying the 25-hour module will be pursued by officials in charge of the ROTC, CWTS and LTS.
Alcudia said the military is just waiting for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the implementing directive. "We do not know the status. But we are coordinating with the CHED regarding the implementing directive," he said.
Alcudia added that the changes are supposed to be implemented during this school year.
'We in the Army…are preparing in case [we] will be tapped to coordinate with the schools to come up with the module lectures," he said.
The 25-hour lecture module is included in the 60 hours under the NSTP course that students are required to undergo, according to Alcudia. – ABS-CBNNews.com