President Duterte has pressed the Senate to pass their version of the bill which requires Senior High School students to undergo mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last night said that Duterte has certified as urgent the passage of Senate Bill 2232 or the Senior High School Reserve Officers Training Corps Act.
In his message to the Senate, Duterte said that the passage of the bill is necessary to “restore basic military and leadership training for the youth in order to invigorate their sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary in defending the State and to further promote their vital role in nation-building.”
According to the Senate website, the bill has yet to undergo second reading while the House of Representatives has approved their version of the bill.
The ROTC was made optional in 2002 after a university student was allegedly killed by course officers after he exposed fund mismanagement.
Duterte has been pushing for the revival of the program, saying it will help prepare the youth to defend the country when a war erupts.
In a speech last year, Duterte called on the Congress to expedite the passage of the bill and asked them to require senior high school students to undergo mandatory ROTC.
According to Duterte, if Congress fails to come up with the law, he might just issue an executive order making it a constitutional requirement for citizens to defend the country. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)