Monday, March 4, 2019

ROTC grads can help in clean-up drives

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 4, 2019): ROTC grads can help in clean-up drives


Aside from beefing up the number of troops and helping in disaster response missions, Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) graduates can also help the government in its ongoing efforts to clean the country's vast coastal areas.

This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato when asked Sunday on whether or not the ROTC can be tapped in the ongoing efforts to clean Manila Bay and other coastal areas.

"The ROTC, aside from the trainings to become citizen soldiers and prepare them for HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) duties, can set the example in caring for the environment by participating in clean-up drives both in coastal areas and forest reserves," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Earlier, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the country is planning to have reservist units, which can be activated in a moment's notice if needed.

"It is this state of readiness that we would like to achieve through the revival of mandatory ROTC along with the instilling of discipline, patriotism and love of country in our current youth and the other generations to come," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Since ROTC graduates are part and parcel of the AFP's Reserve Force, along with the Ready and Standby Reserves, Andolong said the former can be directed to report to their respective reserve units, which may be tasked to do any or all of the following when a contingency arises:

* Serve as a base for expansion of the regular force in the event of war, invasion or rebellion;

* Assist the government in relief and rescue operations in the event of calamities or disasters;

* Assist the government in socio-economic development and environmental concerns;

* Assist in the operation and maintenance of essential government and private utilities (e.g. power, telecommunications, and water).

"When analysts profile and examine the military strength of adversary nations, they pay special attention to the quality and quantity of their reserve forces. Israel and Singapore, for instance, maintain a relatively small regular force to maintain the armed forces but they have a large and very capable number of reservists who can be activated in a moment's notice," the DND spokesperson stressed.

House Bill 8961 seeks to amend for the purpose Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act.

Under the proposed measure, ROTC training would apply to “all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institutions.”

The bill also states that ROTC training shall be a requirement for graduation.

As provided for, the following students may be exempted: those who are physically or psychologically unfit; those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training; those who are chosen by their school to serve as the school’s varsity players in sports competition; and those who may be exempted from training for valid reasons as approved by the DND, upon recommendation by an educational institution where the concerned student is enrolled.

The proposed measure also strictly prohibits the use of ROTC training for “political” objectives and for teaching and instilling a particular political ideology on students. House Bill 8961 also specifically bans hazing and other forms of physical or mental abuse.

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