The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the bill reviving mandatory ROTC training program for senior high school students in all educational institutions. The program will serve as a pre-requisite for graduation.
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ACT calls on DepEd to look at ROTC 'from educators' perspective'
(Philstar.com) - May 23, 2019 - 4:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education should look at the potential revival of mandatory enrollment in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps from the point of view of educators, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said Thursday.

ACT made the statement a day after Education Secretary Leonor Briones said DepEd supports the revival of the mandatory ROTC training program for students enrolled in Grades 11 and 12 in all public and private schools.

Briones said the program will provide improve the country's defenses and will help instill disciple and patriotism in students.

But ACT challenged DepEd to “look at the ROTC issue from the educators’ point of view, instead of simply parroting and blindly following the whims and wishes of the president.”

'Teach Philippine history instead'

ACT said Congress’ move to revive the program is a backslide from the progress made by programs aimed at preparing youth for their role in national development.

“The debate on the effectivity of ROTC to achieve its declared aims has been closed in 2002 when its rotten culture of violence and corruption was exposed. The discourse on the matter has advanced toward recognizing community immersion and involvement as more productive means for the youth to participate in nation building,” ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio said.

Basilio noted there is need to re-establish Philippine History as a core subject in high school “to truly instill patriotism” among youth.

He added that historical consciousness coupled with community exposure “will be the country’s best defense against any threat to our sovereignty.”

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the bill reviving mandatory ROTC training program for senior high school students in all educational institutions. The program will serve as a pre-requisite for graduation.

Counterpart bills in the Senate are still pending at the committee level.

Initiatives to protect students

In a statement Thursday, DepEd said it “advocates” the strict adherence to measures that help ensure the protection and safety of learners as it welcomed the revival of the mandatory ROTC.

The laws and policies include Learners and Schools as Zones of Peace, Child Protection Policy, management of children-at-risk and children in conflict with the law, special protection against abuse, exploitation and discrimination, anti-hazing and anti-bullying, prohibition of fraternities and sororities and Convention on the Rights of the Child and Its Optional Protocol.

The agency also proposed to include in the proposed law provisions such as the establishment of grievance committees, ROTC instructors’ academy, and pilot implementation to limited number of schools in the first two years. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MANDATORY ROTC
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