The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading the measure that makes it mandatory for senior high school students to undergo the Reserved Officers Training Program (ROTC).
With 167 voting in the affirmative, four in the negative and zero abstentions, the chamber approved House Bill 8961, mandating the institutionalization, development, training, organization and administration of basic ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 in both private and public educational institutions.
The bill primarily aims to inculcate the spirit of nationalism, nation-building, and national preparedness among the Filipino youth.
It also ensures that the ROTC program will “instill patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual virtues, respect for human rights, and adherence to the Constitution.”
Under the measure, students in Grades 11 and 12 will have to undergo Basic ROTC program as a prerequisite for graduation.
However, students who are physically or psychologically unfit, as certified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Surgeon General or his medical officer, are exempted from undergoing the program, as well as those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training, those who were chosen to to be part of the school’s varsity, and those exempted from training for valid reasons by the Department of National Defense.
The measure also tasks the Secretary of National Defense, in consultation with the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, to prescribe the organization and operational manual of ROTC units.
Public and private universities, college and similar higher learning institutions, however, will not be mandated to offer and provide a training school for advanced ROTC program.
At the Senate, a similar bill is still pending before the Senate committee on education, arts and culture.
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House OKs mandatory ROTC for senior high school students