/ 29 January 2023

SENATOR Ronald dela Rosa stressed Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act will be used for the full implementation of the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

In a way, it will ensure all students will be covered by the ROTC following statements that all those who are taking up less than two years vocational courses, or those who decided to work immediately after finishing senior high school, will not be able to join the ROTC training.

National ROTC Alumni Association Board Member Virgilio Garcia said they will be covered by RA 7077 which requires all male citizens between the ages 18 and 25, who are not reservists, to register for military training.

But officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Reservist and Retiree Affairs said RA 7077, passed in June 1991, have not been properly implemented due to conflicting provisions with the Local Government Code.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, warned no one should be exempted from ROTC as it will create division in the society.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said “most likely” excuse from ROTC are students studying vocational courses in less than two years and out-of-school-youths.

He, however, said they are still required to undergo military training under RA 7077 which only exempts members of the clergy of any religious order or sect, those in the active service of the AFP and the Philippine National Police, superintendent and uniformed members of the National penitentiary, corrective institutions, and insane asylums, and licensed air and maritime pilots, navigators and merchant marine officers.

Dela Rosa is confident the ROTC bill will push through with just one hearing left despite some clamor from the AFP regarding manpower.

He also assured the senators are ready to support the budgetary and logistical requirements of the measure once passed into law.