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8月1日のまにら新聞から

Disaster relief, history, cybersecurity to be recommended in ROTC bill

[ 573 words|2022.8.1|英字 (English) ]

Disaster relief, history, cybersecurity to be recommended in ROTC bill

The Department of National Defense (DND) will propose to Congress measures to include in the bills seeking to require college students to be part of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), its spokesperson said Sunday.

In an interview with dzBB, Arsenio Andolong said one of the measures they plan to propose is to include climate change as part of ROTC training.

“We will factor in climate change. The environment is a big deal now, that’s why we are going to suggest including it (in the curriculum),” Andolong said.

In the 18th Congress, twenty three bills were filed by various members of the House Representatives. All of them have been pending with the Committee on Basic Education and Culture since 2019.

Meanwhile, in the 19th Congress, five bills have been filed. Three are pending on first reading while the other bills are still pending with the Committee on Basic Education and Culture.

The DND will also suggest making the ROTC curriculum less “military-centric” and to bring back the study of History and Patriotism to “ignite nationalism” in the students, he added.

Another measure they would like to propose is to give first level civil service eligibility to students who have finished ROTC training so they could still work for the government if they could not finish college.

To make the ROTC curriculum more modern, Andolong said they will also make virtual classes an option and include lessons on cybersecurity.

“Part of our national security entails guarding our cyberspace. That was not part of the previous ROTC program…We are now in a digital world so the ROTC training program will also shift into a digital domain. There are many possibilities, such as enhancing the social media skills of the youth,” he said.

Although the ROTC program will be less military-centric, basic military training will still be included according to the wishes of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“What the AFP wants, which the DND subscribes to, is that there should still be basic military training. That is the purpose of the ROTC,” Andolong said.

He said there is a debate in the Congress about whether ROTC should be renamed to Citizens’ Military Training since not all trainees will be part of the military.

“This is primarily to train our citizens in humanitarian and disaster relief, and basic knowledge and skills so that they’re ready. Let us not forget that Constitution mandates that anyone could be called on by the government to serve in civic, or military or other functions in time of need. Especially in times of war,” Andolong said.

He added that the ROTC program will be “genderless” and inclusive since everyone regardless of gender will be needed during emergencies.

“When there is an emergency, or during war, which we hope would not happen, we do not check whether someone is male or female. We will be fighting on the same side. We will be serving our people on the same side. (Gender) has nothing to do with it,” Andolong said.

On Saturday, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said in his weekly vlog that the mandatory ROTC training could help boost the Philippines’ disaster response capacity.

This comes after he instructed the Congress to push for a law requiring mandatory ROTC and after he visited Abra, which was struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake that resulted in at least 10 deaths. Jaspearl Tan/DMS