By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras
THE Department of National Defense (DND) said firing exercises and more lessons on technical skills will be part of the program of the proposed Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for senior high school.
“In the past, it was just purely military science. Ngayon kasama natin dito na mag-implement ang DepEd dito sa part na historical values. Sa technical development, ang TESDA. Kapag pumasok ka sa ROTC ngayon, hindi lang medic or infantry ka….Tuturuan ka na maging radio operator, computer and cyber-specialist, Morse code. These things are technical na pwede mong gamitin,” DND Spokesperson Arsenio R. Andolong said in an interview with BusinessWorld on Dec. 6. (We will now implement together with DepEd [Department of Education] [a course on] historical values. On technical development, we will work with TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority]. If you enroll in ROTC, you’ll be taught not only medic or infantry, but [how to be a] radio operator, computer and cyber-specialist, [and understanding] Morse code. These are technical things that you can use).
Since last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has been pushing for the mandatory implementation of ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 in both public and private high schools.
The current curriculum of ROTC in college includes military history and laws, physical trainings, and emergency preparedness.
Mr. Andolong added, “Highly technical na ngayon ang military (The military is highly technical now),…kaya (that’s why) you have be taught…these things. Cyber warfare is one area that we can teach to our students….(We also have) firing, field training exercise, kasi (because) they will be training alongside the regular force para naman (so this would be) exciting.”
If its proposal is approved by the Congress, Mr. Andolong said graduates of the ROTC program, both in senior high school and college, will be granted civil service eligibility. “Kapag naka-graduate ka ng basic ROTC, may civil service eligibility ka na. Let’s say hindi ka nakapagtapos ng (you didn’t finish) college (but) you want to work in the government, at least may civil service eligibility ka na (you now have civil service eligibility).”
He added, “Kapag ikaw ay grumaduate sa college at kumuha ka ng advanced ROTC, may second level ka ng civil service eligibility (If you graduate from college and take the advanced ROTC [program], you will have second-level civil service eligibility). So it’s going to be worth your while.”
Graduates of the basic ROTC program in senior high school will also be eligible for entry in the military or the police. “Kapag grumaduate ka ng basic ROTC, hindi ka na makakapag-college, tapos naghahanap ng trabaho, eligible ka sa entry to AFP, PNP, Coast Guard as an enlisted man and woman,” Mr. Andolong said. (If you graduate from the basic ROTC program and you’re unable to finish college but you’re looking for work, you’re eligible to entry in the AFP, PNP, Coast Guard as an enlisted man and woman).