Catholic schools oppose plan for mandatory ROTC for college students
Officials of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) have oppose the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to make the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory for college students.
Bro. Narciso “Jun” Erguiza, CEAP president, said they planned to submit a position paper on their stand.
Erguiza said making the ROTC mandatory was not the solution to prepare for war.
He said it was counter-productive as not all men and women were meant to be reserved officers.
He said ROTC became optional after some students died due to illegal hazing practices.
Erguiza said the National Service Training Program (NSTP) was a far better alternative to the ROTC, preparing students in awareness for national defense purposes.
He also called on Congress to amend Republic Act (RA) 9163, also known as the NSTP Act of 2001, so ROTC will be an option students can choose from.
The call to revive mandatory ROTC started after President Duterte said he supported the idea.
In his State of the Nation Address last July, Duterte called for the strengthening of the ROTC so young people practice “love of country and good citizenship.”
ROTC became optional in 2001 following the death of University of Sto. Tomas (UST) student Mark Welson Chua.
Chua was killed by his superior officers after he exposed alleged irregularities in UST’s ROTC program.
Chua’s death became the catalyst for the passage of RA 9163. (PNA)