President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go-signal to make the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for Grades 11 and 12 students in both public and private school, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
In a Facebook post, Piñol said Duterte approved the proposed policy “after the members discussed the issue thoroughly” during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.
Piñol said, the proposed measure will now be forwarded to Congress and certified as urgent by Duterte.
Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana also made a presentation proposing an amendment to the Republic Act 7077 or the "Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act” to make the ROTC mandatory.
“Lorenzana said ROTC instills patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual values, respect for human rights and adherence to Constitution,” Piñol said.
The ROTC was made optional in 2002 following the controversy that resulted in the death of Mark Chua, a University of Sto. Tomas student. He was allegedly slain by course officers after exposing fund mismanagement.
An Army official earlier said the country's reserve force drastically went down when the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Law was passed in 2001.