Reviving the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program is one of the legislative priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte, which he said would instill “discipline” and “patriotism” among the youth.
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Real patriotism doesn’t lie on ROTC — youth group
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 7, 2019 - 2:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — A youth group slammed the approval of a House bill that seeks to make the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program mandatory for Grades 11 and 12.

The House of Representatives, through viva voce voting, passed House Bill 8961 on second reading Wednesday. If the bill becomes a law, the mandatory reservist training would become a requisite for Grade 11 and 12 students to graduate.

Reviving the ROTC program is one of the legislative priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte, which he said would instill “discipline” and “patriotism” among the youth.

But for Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan, the ROTC is a “hotbed of abuses,” citing the death of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Nelson Chua, which prompted the passage of the National Service Training Program, making ROTC voluntary.

Chua was murdered after exposing irregularities in the ROTC unit of UST.

“Patriotism does not necessarily equate to student cadets marching under the scorching heat of the sun every Sunday, wielding a rifle and mindlessly following shouted orders like training canines, minus the vulgar threats,” SPARK said, adding that these activities do “nothing to develop one’s talents, skills and character that can be deemed relevant in nation building.”

It stressed that if the government wants the youth to take the lead in nation building, it can opt for programs that can hone the youth’s skills and appreciation of history and cultural heritage.

“Real patriotism lies on the active participation of citizens in governance and nation building at all levels. Real patriotism is improving the conditions of the majority of our population,” SPARK said.

The upper chamber’s version of the bill is still being deliberated at committee level.

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