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Duterte wants to make ROTC mandatory for college students, including females


College students, both male and female, may soon be required to undergo the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as President Rodrigo Duterte himself is keen on pushing for a law making ROTC mandatory again.

Duterte’s chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, on Tuesday said one of the topics discussed during the Cabinet meeting Monday was drafting a legislative proposal that would amend the existing law on the ROTC.

Enacted in 2002 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Republic Act (RA) 9163, otherwise known as the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act, makes the ROTC “optional and voluntary.”

ROTC was then made one of three components of the NSTP. The two others were called the Literacy Training Services, and the Civil Welfare Training Service.

“[Duterte wants the] ROTC revived kasi wala na raw yung -- hindi na nai-instill ‘yung discipline, ‘yung love of country,” Panelo said.

“Wala na raw disiplina 'yung young generation kaya na-aadik sa drugs. Walang spirit of love of country,” Panelo added. 

However, Panelo said Duterte disclosed during the meeting that he did not undergo ROTC during his college years.

“Sabi ni Presidente, ‘Kaya nga ako, nagtago ako rin dyan sa ROTC.’ Marami siyang kalokohan, hindi rin siya nag ROTC," Panelo said.

"Tinanong siya [Duterte] sa Cabinet, ‘Paano kayo nadisiplina?’ [Sabi niya,] ’Ah, because of women.’," Panelo added.

"Tawanan kami. ‘Bakit sir?’ ‘Nanay ko, nanay ko ang disciplinarian. Lumuluhod ako sa nanay ko’,” said Panelo, recalling what the president said.

Panelo said he will study the existing law and submit his recommended amendments to the President.

A draft bill would then be sent to Congress for sponsorship by Duterte’s allies. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Panelo said, proposed during the Cabinet meeting that female college students also undergo the mandatory ROTC training, to which Duterte agreed to. 

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Panelo said, proposed during the Cabinet meeting that female college students also undergo the mandatory ROTC training, to which Duterte agreed to. 

In his first state address, Duterte called on Congress to “strengthen our ROTC Program to instill love of country and good citizenship” as he explained his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.  — VVP, GMA News

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