Bato dela Rosa eyes tapping reservists, higher military recruitment quota for mandatory ROTC

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Friday said he is considering tapping reservists and increasing the quota on the military recruitment to have the manpower needed to implement the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC) in higher education institutions.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Dela Rosa was asked for his solution regarding the concern expressed by Defense Undersecretary Franco Gacal that the program would need 9,000 to 10,000 military personnel.

“Hindi naman lahat active ang kailangan natin diyan. Puwede naman yang gampanan ng mga reservists natin (It does not have to be all active military personnel. Our reservists can do that task),” he said.

If active military personnel are needed for the mandatory ROTC program, Dela Rosa said he is also considering increasing the annual recruitment quota of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“Meron naman tayong annual recruitment na ginagawa sa ating AFP so dagdagan natin yung quota ng recruitment nila para ma-implement nila nang mabuti itong ROTC program,” he said.

(We have annual recruitment in the AFP so we would increase the quota of the recruitment so they would properly implement the ROTC program.)

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education on Wednesday, Gacal raised the “enormous requirements” in making ROTC mandatory in colleges and universities.

Dela Rosa expressed confidence that they would be able to fund the program considering that the mandatory ROTC is one of the priority measures under the Marcos administration.

House Bill No. 6687 or the National Citizens Service Training Program Act was certified urgent by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Asked about the concern of Senator Pia Cayetano that youth organizations were not invited to the Senate hearing, Dela Rosa said he would invite them next time. — Joviland Rita/RSJ, GMA Integrated News

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