/ 31 August 2023

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines is in the process of developing a program for Reserve Officers Training Corps to professionalize the system, AFP chief of staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. said.

During deliberations by the Commission on Appointments on his ad interim appointment, Brawner said there will be changes in the ROTC under the program.

Senator Risa Hontiveros queried if the imposition of a mandatory ROTC program would be for the benefit of the country.

“Under what scenarios will we need to deploy the reserve officers produced by the ROTC program?” Hontiveros asked.

“How much value are we getting from resources that we are using to train our ROTC cadets under a mandatory program compared to using the same resources to train and develop our professional soldiers?” she added.

Brawner answered that under the new ROTC program, the country will be ready to face any challenge whether manmade or natural.

“Dati po kasi, martsa, martsa tayo. Halos buong araw nagmamartsa, konting kaalaman sa pagdisassemble, pag-assemble ng baril. This time, we are going to professionalize the ROTC program. Meaning, if a student is enrolled in medical fields, for instance, hindi po siya magiging foot soldier. Ang training niya would not be on being an infantry man. Rather ang training nila ay magiging related sa kanilang field. So sila po ang magiging medics natin, mga doctors, nurses when their services will be needed during war,” he explained.

“The same is true with our engineering students, for instance. So hindi na po sila magiging infantry soldiers, as well. They will be trained as combat engineers, they will be building bridges, they will be building our defensive position and so on,” the general added.