Press Release
May 12, 2017

Sen. Bam consults students and AFP to craft effective ROTC program

Sen. Bam Aquino organized a workshop to consult students, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other stakeholders regarding proposals to revive the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in schools to help craft an effective program that "will reflect the true purpose of ROTC".

"The ROTC is a priority legislation of this government. We want to set aside our pre-conceived notions. We're here to listen to each other," said Sen. Bam in his opening address.

"This is an open discussion to learn directly from the people that will be affected by ROTC reforms. By the end of this, we should have a deeper understanding of the needs of our reserve force and find potential improvements to the ROTC program," added Sen. Bam.

The discussion is also expected to tackle whether Senior High School is the best place to revive the program and whether it should be mandatory or not.

During his eight-month tenure as chairman of the Committee on Education, Sen. Bam committed to reach out to different sectors regarding the proposal to revive ROTC in schools.

He visited the Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) of the Philippine Army at Camp Reigo De Dios in Tanza, Cavite to get input from officials and professionals who have been undergoing training as reserve officers.

Sen. Bam met with ARESCOM officials, led by Commandant Rito Petinglay and Col. Bernie Langub, where they discussed the importance of reserve officers' role in the context of national security in this present situation.

The senator also discussed increasing the budget to provide better training and a better program for the reserve corps. "We talked about modernizing and updating the ROTC, taking into account national security, counter-terrorism and cyber security," the senator said.

During his visit, Sen. Bam also raised the possibility of professionals beefing up the country's reserve force.

"We should look to professionals as a source for reserve forces. We can encourage them to join by giving incentives and other benefits," said Sen. Bam.

In addition, Sen. Bam said there are volunteers who wish to join the reserve corps.

Three bills calling for the revival of the ROTC are pending with the Committee on Education - Senate Bills 1131, 200 and 189, authored by Sens. JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian and Manny Pacquiao, respectively.

The ROTC became optional in 2002 through Republic Act 9163 or the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001.

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