TACLOBAN CITY- Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla expressed his support on the move to have the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) revived as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to the governor, the planned revival of ROTC is timely as the country faces ‘threat’ not only from within but even from outside forces.
“The idea is good. The more that we need to with the ongoing threat,” Petilla said during the interview after he led the provincial ceremony of the 122th Philippine Independence Day held at the provincial capitol building, this city.
Petilla, who chairs the Provincial Peace and Order Council, made mention on the ongoing dispute between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea as a reason why he supports the revival of the ROTC.
“Anyway, it’s only in case of emergency. Today is Independence Day, it’s better if we will show our love for our country,” he added.
Pres. Duterte had earlier certified a bill for the revival of the ROTC as urgent saying it is needed for the Filipino youth ‘to invigorate their sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary in defending the State and further promote their role in nation-building.’
Those who are required to take the ROTC are students who are in Grade 11 and Grade 12.
Petilla said that during his visit in the barangays, he asked the people if they are ‘willing’ to sacrifice for the country’s sake.
“I asked them if they are willing to sacrifice and they told me, that they were willing to fight. But the problem, they should be equipped. It’s really good if they are to undergo training, even at least how to handle a gun,” the governor added.
Petilla said that just like the case of South Korea where all its male citizens between 18 and 28 are to undergo military training for about two years, depending on the military branch.
He, however, acknowledge that parents may just raise their objection for this could cause additional cost for their students as those who will undergo ROTC classes will need to have a uniform.