Thursday, August 16, 2007

'No to ROTC!'

By: Jeffrey C. Tiangco
NOT again.

Students and militant youth organizations yesterday rejected the proposal to resurrect the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

“As early as now, this proposal must be nipped in the bud. It seeks not only to totally disregard what students have fought for in the past. It also trains students into becoming passive, docile reserved soldiers for a mercenary and war-mongering armed force,” the Anakbayan said in a statement.

“We won’t be surprised if this move is also a part of the government’s Armed Forces recruitment program since not many are willing to subject themselves to ‘Pinoy laban sa kapwa Pinoy’ wars,” the group said.

Earlier, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas filed House Bill 309 seeking to repeal Republic Act 9163 or the National Service Training Program Act and restore ROTC as a requirement for college students.

The NSTP offered a Literacy Training Service course designed to train students to become teachers for out-of-school youths and other marginalized sectors.

It also offered another alternative, the Civic Welfare Training Service, which focuses on improving health, education, environment, entrepreneurship, safety, recreation and morals of the people.

The NSTP program has shorter period as students are only required to complete one program for two semesters. The ROTC, however, requires a two-year, four-semester program for males.

Under the bill, the secretary of national defense shall direct the conduct of military training for the purpose of producing enlisted and officer reservists.

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