Press Release
May 27, 2021

Bato Dela Rosa and AFP's education, training and doctrine chief agree on the revival of mandatory ROTC amidst threat in West Philippine Sea

A senior officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has echoed the need for the revival of ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps), which is being pushed by Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa under his Senate Bill No. 227 (SBN 227).

Commodore Antonio Palces, deputy chief of AFP's education training and doctrine nominated to the rank of Real Admiral, answered in the affirmative when asked by Dela Rosa, vice chairman of CA's Committee on National Defense, if ROTC should be revived.

"Marami tayong mga kababayan ngayon, matatanda man or bata na gustong gustong makipag gyera talaga sa China...pero ayaw naman nilang mag ROTC...Being the chief of doctrine, training and education, do you think talaga bang nararapat na ibalik natin ang ROTC?" Dela Rosa asked Palces.

"Para whatever happens in the future, magka-giyera man tayo o hindi, kailangang ready tayo as a nation hindi lang as a military kundi buong nation natin, ang ating mga kabataan mapa babae man o lalaki, pwede natin ma-mobilize anytime kapag magkakaroon ng giyera. So, do you think kailangang-kailangan na ba talaga, very urgent na ba talaga na ibalik natin 'yung ROTC sa ating mga eskwelahan? Please answer my question," the senator further asked.

Palces replied: "I strongly believe, sir, that even if ROTC are only held once a week, but still, it instills discipline among the youth, which is very needed for a strong country and they learn some lesson as far as military things are concerned. And if ever push comes to shove, God forbids, we have a ready reserve who can easily, who can assist the armed forces regulars in any capacity that they do. Yes sir, I strongly believe that ROTC needs to be revived in the school, sir."

SBN 227 or the ROTC Act is one of the priority legislations filed by Senator Dela Rosa in the 18th Congress and currently pending in the Senate Committee on Higher Education and Technical Vocation.

Included in its modules for grades 11 and 12 in private and public schools are Ethics of Services, Patriotism and Nationalism, Basic Military Training, Civic Training for Students, and Disaster Response Operations.

The bill provides that all students who will undergo Basic ROTC shall be entitled to free treatment in all government hospitals in case of accident or injury during the training, and an insurance mandated to be provided by the school.

For the Advance ROTC, the students shall earn eligibility for commissionship or lateral entry in the AFP, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Fire Protection; and access and privileges with any AFP Commissary, both in addition to free hospitalization in any government hospital in case of accident or injury during the training and mandatory insurance to be provided by the school.

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