MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday again floated the idea of reviving the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).
In a speech in Tanza, Cavite, Duterte said the ROTC program would help prepare young Filipinos defend the Philippines during wartime.
“Lahat ng bayan sa buong mundo, lalo na Israel, mag-training ka talaga (In all countries in the world, especially Israel, you really have to undergo [military] training),” Duterte said during the 35th Founding Anniversary of the Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) in Camp Regio de Dios, Tanza Cavite.
“We are not the only generation who will be soldiers. Ang mga anak natin, kung ‘di mo gawin, walang alam kung magkaupakan (Our children, if we don't do this, they will have no skills if a battle ensues).”
The ROTC, mandatory military training in college, was made optional in 2002 following the controversy that resulted in the death of Mark Chua, a University of Sto. Tomas student. He was allegedly slain by course officers after exposing fund mismanagement.
The military has lamented that the country's reserve force drastically went down when the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Law was passed in 2001.
ROTC is now one of the three components of the NSTP, along with Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS).