CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement to strengthen the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program, Corps Commanders and Senior Reservist Commanders nationwide gathered in a national summit to discuss the restoration of the Mandatory ROTC, Tuesday, February 22 at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club.
The ROTC Corps Commanders’ Summit and Senior Reservist Commanders’ Conference were joined by more than 300 participants with AFP Chief of Staff, General Eduardo Año attending as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
The activities came on the heels of President Duterte’s approval of the proposed restoration of the mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 of the country’s public and private schools.
“The ROTC is a key component of the AFP’s Reserve Force Development program. Through this summit, we are able to connect the ROTC Corps Commanders with the Senior Reservist Commanders of the AFP to discuss common issues on the ROTC and its role in the Reserve Force,” AFP Public Affairs Chief, Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.
Among the invited speakers were Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who tackled the restoration of mandatory ROTC, and Retired Navy Captain Diofonce F Tuñacao of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific who discussed the institutional measures to prevent hazing and corruption in the ROTC.
The summit was anchored on the theme “Building the ROTC as a Strong Foundation of the AFP Reserve Force”. It also featured focus group discussions and a plenary session where ROTC graduates can interact with reservist commanders of the Brigade-level Ready Reserve Units.
The AFP’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservists and Retiree Affairs who organized the summit invited the Congresswoman to show the AFP’s openness in her interest to join the military reserve force.
As the summit’s output, a manifesto was signed by the ROTC Corps Commander inking their pledge to actively address hazing and corruption in the ROTC and to commit themselves to greater participation in nation-building.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines believes it is time to bring back mandatory ROTC in schools to ensure that the youth are shaped with a deep sense of patriotism and love for country,” said General Año.