Duterte presses Senate to pass mandatory ROTC bill

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2019 06:06 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2019 10:25 AM

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent on Monday a bill requiring the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program for Senior High School students.

Duterte, in a letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, called for the immediate passage of Senate Bill 2232 or the Senior High School Reserve Officers Training Corps Act.

The President said the immediate passage of the bill is necessary 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 bill has yet to undergo second reading, according to the Senate website. 

A counterpart measure, meanwhile, has already been approved by the House of Representatives.

The ROTC was made optional in 2002 following the controversial death of Mark Chua, a University of Santo Tomas student who was allegedly slain by course officers after exposing fund mismanagement.

President Duterte, however, has pushed for the revival of the ROTC program, saying it would help prepare young Filipinos to defend the Philippines during wartime.

-with a report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News