MANILA – A party-list group opposes the proposal of the Duterte administration to make the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in college mandatory.
Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to revive mandatory ROTC to instill discipline among the youth.
But Kabataan party-list group said reviving the mandatory nature of ROTC would be "inimical to the rights and welfare of students."
"We do not subscribe to the notion that ROTC could instill discipline and love of country, given its violent and mired history. On this issue, we will not mince words: ROTC should not be made mandatory. In fact, the program should be abolished,” Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said.
The group said providing military training, institutional or material support, should not be the responsibility of civilian educational institutions. Thus, it is calling for the abolition of the program through House Bill 2399.
The group also argued that ROTC is doing no good to the students, as the program has become a hotbed for abuses.
"Reports of physical and psychological abuse in the ROTC had been far too common. Officers humiliate, brutalize, and even maim cadets in the guise of ‘training’ is nothing short of the violation of basic human rights," the group said.
''Years after its implementation, ROTC was proven irrelevant in fostering discipline, social responsibility, and patriotism in the youth. It became a hotbed for abuses including corruption, bribery, extortion, collection of unauthorized and excessive fees, and physical and verbal violence. It became nothing but a burden to students. It is time that we abolish this vestige of militarism in our schools," Elago said.
ROTC is one of the three components of the National Service Training Program (NSTP). The other two are Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS).