The Constitutional Mandate to Serve
It is the prime duty of the government to serve and protect its citizens. In turn, it shall be the responsibility of all citizens to defend security of the state and in fulfillment thereof, the government may require each citizen to render personal, military or civil service.
Brief History of ROTC
Commonwealth Act No. 1
Under the Commonwealth Act No. 1 or the National Defense Act of 1935, the National Defense Policy says that the preservation of the state is an obligation of every citizen. Hence, Section 35 of the Act mandates the establishment of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
Former President Manuel L Quezon issued the Executive Order. 207 in 1939 which made ROTC mandatory at all colleges and universities with at least 100 students.
However, even before its enactment, ROTC began in the Philippines since 1912 when the Philippine Constabulary commenced with military instruction in UP and the first ROTC unit was already established in UP in 1922 through the request of the US Army officer conducting the training.
ROTC in World War II
During the World War II in 1941, ROTC Cadets from different units in Metro Manila took part in the Battle of Bataan. Volunteers from the Philippine Military Academy and various ROTC units formed the Hunters ROTC Guerilla, which became a part of the resistance movement against the Japanese occupation.
Post-World War II
After the World War II, the establishment and maintenance of ROTC units are through the issuance of orders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. The availability of facilities such as armory, parade grounds, classrooms, etc., are provided by the schools.
In 1967, former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Executive Order No. 59 which made ROTC mandatory at all colleges, universities, and other institutions with at least 250 male students.
Then in 1980, he issued the Presidential Decree No. 1706, or the National Service Law, which made the national service compulsory for Filipino Citizens. “National service” shall consist of three main programs namely: civic welfare service, law enforcement service, and military service.
Republic Act of 7077, also known as the Citizen Armed Force or Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act, is signed by Corazon Aquino into law on June 27, 1991. The Act provided for the organization, training, and utilization of reservists or Citizen Soldiers.
RA 9163: NSTP Act of 2001
The Republic Act 9163, also known as the “National Service Training Program Act of 2001,” signed by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, provided the establishment of the program. The law made ROTC optional and made it as one of its components.
Definition and Purpose of NSTP
What is NSTP? NSTP or the National Service Training Program is a program aimed at enhancing civic consciousness and defense preparedness in the youth by developing the ethics of services and patriotism while undergoing training in any of its three service components. It is specifically designed to enhance the youth’s contribution to the general welfare.
NSTP shall form part of the curricula of all baccalaureate degree courses and of at least two (2) year technical – vocational courses and is a requisite for graduation. College students, male or female, may opt to choose any of the three components, which shall be taken for two semesters.
The implementation of NSTP shall be overseen and monitored by CHED and TESDA regional offices, together with the Department of National Defense.
Components of NSTP
The first component, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps or ROTC.
It is “a program institutionalized under sections 38 and 39 of Republic Act No. 7077 designed to provide military training to tertiary level students in order to motivate, train, organize and mobilize them for national defense preparedness.”
Next is the Literacy Training Service or LTS.
It “is a program designed to train students to become teachers of literacy and numeracy skills to school children, out of school youth, and other segments of society in need of their service.”
And lastly, is the Civic Welfare Training Service or CWTS.
It “refers to program or activities contributory to the general welfare and the betterment of life for the members of the community or the enhancement of its facilities, especially those developed to improving health, education, environment, entrepreneurship, safety, recreation and morals of the citizenry.”