PNP expresses full support for mandatory ROTC for senior high

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) has expressed full support for the measure pushing to make the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for senior high school students.

We fully support the ROTC 100 percent. We need that. We are a very small country. Of course, many are saying we are under threat so we might as well, let's train our youth here, PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde told reporters when sought for a comment on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) medical center in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City Tuesday.

Citing an example, Albayalde said military enlistment for two years is mandatory in countries like Israel.

Because they (Israel) are small, they have to train all citizens, including women, to enlist for two years. As for us, why not? It is a way to develop a sense of patriotism and nationalism among the people. We should love our country and this is one way of loving our country, by defending it from any external threat, he noted.

The House of Representatives earlier voted 167-4-0 to approve on third and final reading House Bill 8961, which makes it mandatory for senior high school students to enroll in ROTC.

House Bill 8961 seeks to amend for the purpose Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act. Under the proposed measure, ROTC training would apply to all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institutions.

The bill also states that ROTC training shall be a requirement for graduation.

As provided, the following students may be exempted: those who are physically or psychologically unfit; those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training; those who are chosen by their school to serve as the school's varsity players in sports competition; and those who may be exempted from training for valid reasons as approved by the Department of National Defense, upon recommendation by an educational institution where the student is enrolled.

The proposed measure also strictly prohibits the use of ROTC training for political objective and for teaching and instilling a particular political ideology on students. House Bill 8961 also specifically bans hazing and other forms of physical or mental abuse. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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