CEBU, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Wednesday, June 12, the Department of Education (DepEd) supports the proposed revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for Senior High School (SHS) students.
She had said ROTC graduates are the country’s first line of defense against foreign forces.
“Mao kini nga kami sa Department of Education, pananglitan, ginasuporta namo ang move nga i-offer sa Senior High School,” Briones said. (That’s why, we at DepEd, for example, support the move to offer ROTC to SHS.)
The education secretary spoke at the 121st Independence Day celebration at the Mactan Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, before teachers, DepEd officils, local police, and members of the naval forces. Briones represented President Rodrigo Duterte in the event organized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
“Kay sa panahon nga gi-atake kita sa mga hapon, sa Pearl Harbor, pag-bomb, unya sunod na ‘ta sa Pilipinas, ang una’ng nagdepensa ang mga bata’ng ROTC samtang gi-mobilize ang atong mga military forces,” Briones said.
(Because when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor through bombing, and then the Philippines was next, the first line of defense were the young ROTC graduates while our military forces were yet to be mobilized.)
House Bill 8961 says the conduct of military training under the ROTC program “shall apply to all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institutions.”
The Senate earlier said it has no time left to pass the controversial measure.
ROTC in college was scrapped in 2002 after an investigation showed that a University of Santo Tomas student was murdered after he exposed alleged corruption in the program. – Rappler.com