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VP Duterte: Mandatory ROTC better implemented in college

It would be better to impose the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) course in college, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said Thursday.

Duterte, who has been pushing for the revival of the mandatory ROTC program in the country, affirmed that she has been conducting initial meetings with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other lawmakers on how to implement it.

She said that the higher education will be better off spearheading the program, while the basic education will be in charge of instilling discipline and a sense of nationalism among the students during their early years in school.

“During our discussion, I think it was clear sa lahat na mas maganda kung ibalik ang ROTC sa higher education since noon, nasa higher education na talaga siya [that it would be better to bring back ROTC in higher education],” she said at the commemoration of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago's sixth death anniversary in Marikina City.

“The basic education will focus on other parts of the curriculum na mag-instill ng discipline and love of country sa ating mga [among the] learners,” she added.

CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III said on Wednesday that they were coordinating with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to draft a bill that would pave the way for the implementation of mandatory ROTC.

De Vera said that they were still studying whether to place the mandatory ROTC course in the senior high school level or in the tertiary or college level.

During his first State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pushed for mandatory ROTC, naming it as one of the priority measures of his administration.

The mandatory ROTC program was scrapped in 2002 following the passage of Republic Act 9163, an act establishing the NSTP.

This came after the March 2001 killing of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Wilson Chua, allegedly by his ROTC handlers after he had exposed the corruption in the ROTC corps. — BM, GMA News