/ 16 August 2023

SENATE President Juan Miguel Zubiri admitted that the National Service Training Program Law, which he principally authored, has many loopholes.

“Ang dami kong kilala na hindi sila nagserbisyo sa NSTP. Nagpalakas lang po sila sa isang organization at doon minasahe nila ang mga lider ng organization para bigyan sila ng passing rate sa NSTP. So, maraming nakakalusot and they learned nothing. Unfortunately, that is the norm,” Zubiri said.

He said he will vote in favor of the bill reinstating the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program as he said the Senate will legislate a modified program that will suit modern-day training.

Zubiri also narrated that he learned a lot from ROTC.

“Dumaan din ako sa putik, dumaan din ako sa martsa and it grounded me and I think I learned a lot from that experience and it made me a better person,” he said.

“So if you’re gonna ask me . . . my personal vote is ‘yes.’ I will vote in favor of ROTC,” he added.

He then stressed the importance of the ROTC program that will keep up with modern warfare such as cybersecurity.

“Ang akin lang d’yan is how to improve the ROTC, not only to keep it just into marching and shooting once a year,” Zubiri said.

The senate leader cited the suggestion of Senator Pia Cayetano to train individuals, who are computer geniuses, against cyberattacks.

“If you are a computer genius you don’t have to march in the field, you carry a Garand and do all this exhibition and all. You can stay in the office and the school and you can be part of the cyberwarfare class and you can be in an airconditioned room and that’s your expertise,” he said.

“So, it’s not necessarily the old, stereotype ROTC. It will be modified to suit modern-day training,” he added.