MANILA (UPDATE) — The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in the tertiary level will be more advanced than the proposed version in Senior High School (SHS), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Tuesday.
CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said they have prepared proposals that those who would finish the optional 2-year ROTC program in the college level could receive a diploma in Military Sciences, certificate in Military Sciences, or even a diploma in Disaster Management.
The National Service Training Program (NSTP), meanwhile, will focus on skills enhancement for disaster preparedness and response. A revised implementing rules and regulations for the enhanced NSTP has been released last year, he said.
"Ang mangyayari dito ay iyong advanced ROTC as an option sa NSTP will already produce possible officers that can be recruited into the Armed Forces or to the Reserve Corps," De Vera said in a televised briefing.
(What will happen now is those who finished the ROTC as an option in NSTP will already produce possible officers that can be recruited into the Armed Forces or to the Reserve Corps.)
"Naayos na po namin iyong syllabus na lalamanin nitong diploma program na ito. So, iyong ating mga papasok doon sa option ng ROTC sa NSTP ay magkakaroon ng additional diploma ng kanilang kahusayan na nakuha," he added.
(We already prepared a syllabus for this diploma program, so those who will enter ROTC in NSTP will get an additional diploma if they finish it.)
"Ang aming revision doon sa laman ng NSTP Program is that it will be heavily skills-based. Skills-based iyong aming approach sa advanced ROTC, sa disaster management kasi ang ating mga pamantasan at ang ating mga local government ay may kanya-kaniyang disaster management plan."
(The revision of the NSTP program will be heavily skills-based. This will be our approach in advanced ROTC. It will be focused on disaster management because our local governments have their own disaster management plan.)
The CHED chairman noted that his agency and tertiary education institutions are prepared to carry out President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s directive on the matter if Congress passes a relevant measure.
They have also tapped local government units to help them on disaster preparedness and plans on mobilizing students during emergencies, he added.
"Ikakasa natin iyong training ng mga bata sa NSTP on disaster management doon sa ginagawa ng mga local governments at ginagawa din ng mga pamantasan," he said.
(We will launch the training for them in NSTP on disaster management, just like what the universities are doing.)
"Puwedeng diyan na matuto ang ating mga estudyante na kumukuha ng advanced ROTC, kumukuha ng NSTP para very skills-based iyong kanilang matutunan pagdating sa higher education," he added.
(Maybe our students can learn in advanced ROTC, and those getting NSTP so their knowledge will be skills-based.)
The revival of mandatory ROTC is among Marcos' priority legislative agenda for the 19th Congress. The move was strongly opposed by several lawmakers and security experts.
Marcos revived the pitch during his personal vlog on Saturday, citing the need for more hands in disaster zones.
“Mas marami rin tayong maihahanda na sibilyan sa ganitong disaster response sa pamamagitan ng ROTC program,” he said in his weekly vlog.
(We will prepare a lot of civilians in this disaster response through the ROTC program.)