/ 27 June 2022

SENATOR Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa is set to refile the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps bill in the 19th Congress.

He also expressed willingness to author another version if Vice President-elect Sara Duterte has one.

“The same bill that I filed during the 18th Congress, ipa-file ko ngayon doon sa 19th Congress. At titingnan ko kung mayroong proposal ‘yung Office ng Vice President na gagawin nila, isa-submit sa akin, then I am willing to author such a bill na gusto nila, ‘yung version na gusto ni Vice President Inday Sara Duterte,” Dela Rosa said.

The ROTC bill was one of the top 10 priority measures of Dela Rosa in the 18th Congress.

“That’s number two in my list of the top 10 priority bills na isa-submit ko on our first session day sa 19th Congress,” he said.

Under Dela Rosa’s proposal, the mandatory ROTC program will be introduced in Grades 11 and 12 in both public and private schools. An advanced ROTC program will also be available in the first two years of higher education for those who want to become officers.

He said mandatory ROTC has to be implemented to instill pride, nationalism and patriotism among the youth.

“At saka alam natin, mayroon tayong impending threat galing sa ating mga kapitbahay na mga bansa, ‘yung China, nandiyan palagi ‘yung threat ng China diyan sa ating West Philippine Sea. So, worse comes to worst, we need a ready reserve to support our regular armed forces in times of crisis,” Dela Rosa said.

The senator lamented that the ROTC issue is being exploited by leftist groups.

“Wala naman tayong agenda kundi magkaroon ng malakas na depensa ‘yung ating bansa at ituloy na maibalik ang ROTC. ‘Yun lang naman at ‘yung disiplina ng ating kabataan ay manumbalik,” he said.