Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another pitch for the return of ROTC!

A lot of people have commented on the article we wrote about the return of the Reserved Officers Training Corps. (ROTC) and people especially my generation concur with our call. However, we haven’t heard much from our youth, many of whom I reckon no longer feel any patriotism for this country. I can only second-guess that many of our youth are disillusioned by our political leaders and because of this, their life’s goal is to look for jobs out of the country because there are so many jobs out there.
But lo and behold, a young friend of mine, Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, Congressman of Valenzuela City sent me this email in support of our call for the return of the ROTC. So let me reprint his letter in full.
“Bobit Avila, I’m glad that more and more Filipinos are thinking of bringing back the ROTC in the country. I totally agree with what you said in your “Shooting Straight” column today, “It is imperative to bring back the ROTC ASAP!” We should not wait for another China’s reclamation project in our territory or another natural disaster to hit the country before we take actions.
Regarding the proposed law in bringing the compulsory ROTC, I already have filed that in the Lower House. I’m pushing for House Bill No. 2338 or to be known as the “Mandatory ROTC” since last year, and my stand remains the same on why I want it mandatory and a huge volume of reservists in the country: military and disaster preparedness.
Last March 28, I was invited to be one of the guests at Turo Turo sa DZMM Teledyaryo with Jing Castañeda and Prof. Popoy de Vera to discuss House Bill No. 2338. I’ve also been receiving comments posted on my Facebook Page ( on the said matter for which most of the netizens expressed their approval on the Mandatory ROTC.
You may want to read this press release (please refer below) on Apr. 14 for further information on the said bill and my stand on the Mandatory ROTC.
Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Please refer to the attached file for the copy of the bill. You may also download the copy at Thank you. Sincerely, Cong. Win Gatchalian Valenzuela City”.
Thank you Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian for your concern for our country’s security, especially in these times when we are having both internal or domestic threats and a more ominous international threat notably from China. We live in a different world today and the best and the cheapest way to beef up our Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is to prepare our youth for the future with compulsory ROTC, which is the only course I know in College where you are taught the highest level of patriotism… even to die for our country. Hmmm, what ever happened to loving our country?
As we’ve pointed out several times in the past, our youth of today have their energies spent elsewhere…like in the Internet or worse joining fraternities that do battle against rival fraternities… and many get hazed with these so-called “frat wars”. Yes, the hazing of an ROTC cadet resulted in the removal of ROTC as a compulsory subject in Colleges and Universities… and in the end, it helped weakened our nation in light of our internal struggles against Communism and the Muslim Separatist movement.
It is still April… and if Pres. Benigno “PNoy” Aquino, III knows what is best for the nation… he should mark House Bill No. 2338 or the “Mandatory ROTC” Bill as high priority in the last few months of this Regime. As I pointed out… the return of the ROTC must be taken seriously by our Legislators… and this time around… please let the ROTC be trained the same way that the United States train their military reservists…using not just real guns firing real ammunition…they must also use the same equipment as the military so that in times of trouble… you won’t need to retrain the ROTC graduates in the use of weapons and tactics to support the AFP.
Then more importantly… the ROTC must learn from volunteer agencies like Cebu’s Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) of the Chinese Fire Brigade to help in times of disasters. This is what was woefully lacking during our days as ROTC Cadets and the time has come to bring back the ROTC as a truly potent force that supports the needs of the Filipino people.
Allow me to salute Rep. Gatchalian whom I know is one of the most active members of Congress…who filed a bill seeking SIM Card registration, the Taxi Passengers Bill of Rights, CCTV Cameras for Crime Prevention and the creation of the Information Technology Office, which by the way was a Cabinet level office during the time of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. If I may add my own suggestion to Rep. Gatchalian… the Philippines need a National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) that would investigate accidents on air, land and sea. This is one bill that we needed 20-years ago!
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