- Palace counsel Salvador Panelo said the Cabinet discussed the possible return of ROTC
- He said it would re-instill a love for country among students
- He also said the abuses of the ROTC can be curbed for it to be effective
MANILA, Philippines – College students may yet be doing marches and push-ups once again as Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet are mulling the return of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
According to Panelo, reviving the ROTC is one way to re-instill love for country.
“The ROTC would be revived to instill discipline and love of country among the students,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Panelo said he would study the possible implications of reviving the program.
“I plan to study the ROTC and then maybe I will recommend to the President the appropriate amendments,” he said.
Panelo also revealed the kind of discipline he underwent under the ROTC program.
“I underwent ROTC. You will really be disciplined there. You have to dress appropriately. You cannot sport long hair because your hair will be shaved. The commandant will punch you if you don’t follow orders. You will be disciplined there,” he said.
At the same time Panelo promised to ensure that there would be no abuses in the revived ROTC.
“Actually implementation was the problem. It wasn’t implemented just because there were abuses. The solution is to cure the abuses,” he said.
As of the present, the ROTC is optional under the country’s National Service Training Program (NSTP) which also includes a literary or civic welfare training service.
The ROTC was made optional in 2002 after hazing and corrupt activities within the program were thrust into the limelight.