MANILA -- Senator Imee Marcos is pushing for a bill that offers a choice of either civic or military training for college students.
Responding to President Rodrigo Duterte's call for Congress to pass the bill on mandatory Reserved Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), Marcos said civic involvement, and not just mandatory military training, can enhance discipline and patriotism among the youth.
Marcos said her bill, which proposes a Citizen Service Program, makes military training an option for college-level students instead of a requirement for those in Grade 11 and 12.
There are other ways to love and serve our country besides fighting wars, Marcos said in a statement on Wednesday.
(The bill) still accommodates President Duterte's call for military training for the youth but allows college students the choice of training instead in community service, disaster preparedness, and environmental protection to develop a sense of 'bayanihan', which is embodied in Filipino culture and history," Marcos added.
Marcos noted that this has been her position even during the time of her father, the late Ferdinand Marcos.
"The YCAP (Youth Civic Action Program) and YDT (Youth Development Training) of which students in the 70's are familiar was borne out of that father-and-daughter argument, she said.
Under the measure, students who opt for ROTC training would be granted free health insurance and medical services.
Source: Philippines News Agency