Home Headlines Tolentino bats for a strong navy, return of ROTC

Tolentino bats for a strong navy, return of ROTC

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Sen. Francis Tolentino answers questions from media in Nueva Ecija. Photo: Armand Galang

SCIENCE CITY OF MUN̈OZ — Senate Majority floor leader Francis Tolentino on Tuesday insisted that the revival of Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) is needed amid tensions at the West Philippine Sea.

This, he said, should come along with the restrengthening of the Philippine Navy.

“Palakasin natin ang Navy natin. Tapos ibalik natin ang ROTC,” Tolentino said in an interview by newsmen here.

The lawyer senator, along with Mayor Baby Armi Alvarez and other local officials, led the distribution of P5,000 to each of 177 Tulong Panghanapbuhay Sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) payout at the Pag-asa Gymnasium here.

He also witnessed the same activities for 177 people in San Jose City, also in Nueva Ecija and 353 beneficiaries each in Angat and Malolos City, both in Bulacan province.

Tolentino earlier expressed confidence that his bill seeking to revive ROTC for Filipino students will soon be a law, noting that the ROTC program can very well serve its part in the country’s national defense program while instilling a deep sense of patriotism, nationalism, and discipline among the youth.

“ROTC is an effective way to foster teamwork, discipline, and patriotism, potent tools which can effectively hone productive citizens and future leaders of our country,” he explained.

Tolentino’s Senate Bill 1565 seeks to establish a mandatory two-year Basic Military and Police Training program for students in college. Exempted from Tolentino’s measure are varsity players, individuals deemed psychologically or physically unfit by certified military or police medical officers, as well as those considered to be exempted from training by the Defense Department or the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Tolentino’s proposal explicitly prohibits acts such as emotional maltreatment, psychological and verbal abuse, bribery, and hazing.

Students who opt out of the program will not be able to graduate.

ROTC in the Philippines began in 1912. It was scrapped in 2002 after RA 9163 (National Service Training Program Act of 2001) was enacted in response to the call to change the ROTC program.

The ROTC games started in December 2022 with the support of the AFP, CHED, and other relevant government institutions. Tolentino is the ROTC Game’s honorary chairman.

Meanwhile, Tolentino vowed to continue supporting government’s programs that provide aids to indigent Filipinos such as Tupad. “Tuloy pa rin, tuloy pa rin,” he said.

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