Pulse Asia Research

Almost 80% of Filipinos support ROTC in college – commissioned survey

Ryan Macasero

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Almost 80% of Filipinos support ROTC in college – commissioned survey

TRAINING. Students of a school in Manila starts training for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) amid proposasl to make ROTC mandatory in senior high schools, on January 28, 2023.


Only 13% of respondents disagreed with reinstating mandatory ROTC, according to a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

MANILA, Philippines – A big majority or 78% of Filipinos support the revival of the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program for college students, according to a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

Results of the Pulse Asia poll conducted between March 15-19 and paid for by Gatchalian also showed that 13% of the respondents disagreed with reinstating mandatory ROTC, 8% could not say whether they agreed or disagreed, while the rest said they did not have enough knowledge to answer the question.

Across the regions, Mindanao had the highest number of supporters at 92%, or nearly all, saying they support mandatory ROTC. This was followed by the Visayas at 80%, the National Capital Region (NCR) at 77%, and balance Luzon at 72%.

It was unclear how many of those surveyed were of college age or if they were students since the information released by Gatchalian did not include age distribution of the respondents.

Results of the survey showed that 81% of respondents from both economic classes ABC and E, and 78% from class D, favored mandatory ROTC in college.

The top reason the respondents agreed mandatory ROTC should be reinstated was the belief that it would make young people learn “discipline and responsibility” (71%). While 60% of who favored mandatory ROTC said that it would prepare students to defend the country, and 59% think it would teach students leadership skills.

Among those who opposed the return of mandatory ROTC, 75% believed cases of hazing, abuse and harassment will only increase. While 56% said it was a waste of time that youth should dedicate to studying, and 44% said it was an instrument of power of the leaders/officers.

At least 43% believe ROTC was just an extra burden on the students, 40% said it would cause mental health problems for youth, and 17% say it would cause corruption in schools. (READ: Mandatory ROTC bill: What we know so far)

Gatchalian is the chair of the Senate education committee.

He filed a bill in December 2022 to restore ROTC in the college level.

The murder of Mark Welson Chua, a student from the University of Santo Tomas, led to the abolition of the mandatory ROTC program in 2002. It became optional through Republic Act No. 9163 or the National Service Training Program Act of 2001.

According to Pulse Asia, they used a sample of 1,200 respondents with 300 individuals surveyed per region (NCR, balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).

The margin of error was at +/- 6% in the regions and +/-3% nationally. – Rappler.com

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com