Senator Sherwin Gatchalian believes that the revival of the Basic Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in high school will boost the youth’s capacity “as responders” in times of natural and man-made disasters.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education Arts and Culture, filed last year Senate Bill No. (SBN) 177 or the Senior High School Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Act.
Under SBN 177, basic ROTC for students in Grade 11 and 12 will be part of the basic curricula for Senior High School Education.
Aside from military and civic training, basic ROTC enhances students’ skills on needs assessment, search, rescue and relief, and early recovery during disaster response operations.
Gatchalian said that if students are skilled in disaster response, they can be mobilized to take part in relief and recovery efforts not just in schools but also in their local communities.
He raised the need to build on the skills of the youth in responding to disasters such as the recent eruption of Taal Volcano.
“Napapanahon ang ating panukalang ibalik ang ROTC upang mabigyan ng kaalaman at kakayahan ang ating mga kabataang rumesponde sa mga kalamidad,” Gatchalian said on Tuesday.
“Bilang mga susunod na mamumuno sa ating bansa, mahalagang maituro ng maaga sa mga kabataan kung paano ba rumesponde sa mga sakuna na madalas tumatama sa ating bansa,” he said.