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CHED: Coordinating with DepEd, lawmakers to draft bill on mandatory ROTC

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is coordinating with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other lawmakers to draft a bill that would pave the way for the implementation of the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) course.

CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera on Wednesday said the agency is in talks with Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa in formulating an agreement that would incorporate the content of all related proposals.

“Nagusap na kami ni Mayor Sara, together with Senator Bato dela Rosa who [is] spearheading the efforts in the Senate. Hopefully, we can have agreement soon and draft a bill that will now incorporate the content of all the other bills that have been filed. So hindi pa settled kung saan talaga siya,” De Vera said in an interview at the inauguration of the new Sotero H. Laurel Academic Resource Center in Lyceum of the Philippines - Manila.

He said there were still studying whether to place the mandatory ROTC course in the Senior High School level or in the Tertiary or College level.

“Marami pang mga views on whether to put it in Senior High, whether to put it at university level because we have to look a lot on the cost involved,” he said.

“The administrative requirements that it is needed also if these will unnecessarily increase the (academic) load of students in Senior High. All of these will have to be taken into consideration in the bill, [before it will] finally go to the discussion in the House and Senate but we have been fully working on it together with DepEd, the House, and Senate for this matter,” he added.

The CHED chair expressed his support to the mandatory ROTC saying that it also helped him as an individual.

“I used to be an ROTC officer and so I know that ROTC has helped me and defined me as an individual. So, I support it personally,” he added.

Dela Rosa has refiled the mandatory ROTC bill in the 19th Congress.

Meanwhile, Vice President Duterte earlier voiced hope that the mandatory ROTC will be included in the priority legislative agenda of the Marcos administration.

The mandatory ROTC program was scrapped in 2002 following the passage of Republic Act 9163, an act establishing the National Service Training Program (NSTP). -- BAP, GMA News