By Leonel Abasola
MANILA – Celebrity reservists can serve as instructors of the Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) to augment the lack of personnel.
Their presence will also inspire students who will take up the proposed mandatory ROTC, according to Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.
In a radio interview over the weekend, he said actors such as 2nd Lt. Matteo Guidicelli can undergo an Instructors Development Course (IDC).
Guidicelli is an Army reservist who trained with the Scout Rangers and the Presidential Security Group.
Beauty pageant titlists Winwyn Marquez and Beatrice Luigi Gomez also underwent basic military training and received recognitions for exemplary performances.
“Pwedeng i-tap ang mga reservist. Maaari din bigyan ng allowance ‘yung mga celebrity katulad ni Lt. Guidicelli. Sapat na ‘yun. Mag-train pa sila sa IDC (We can tap the reservists. We can give them allowances, celebrities like Lt. Guidicelli. They’re enough. They can undergo IDC),” Dela Rosa said, in reaction to the Department of National Defense’s (DND) fears that it may not have enough personnel for the estimated 2,400 schools nationwide that will need at least four instructors each.
Allaying fears of abuses such as hazing, Dela Rosa assured there are enough safeguards in his Senate Bill No. 1349, or the Reserve Officers Training Corps for Tertiary Education Act of 2022, and the five other ROTC measures by his colleagues.
There will be a committee in every school composed of representatives of the DND, school administrations and Commission on Higher Education that will handle complaints.
The mandatory ROTC training, Dela Rosa said, is not confined to guns and combat familiarization alone as the students will also be taught environmental care, disaster response and moral values.
He is optimistic that the measure will pass the Senate, noting that it is a priority measure of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
The House of Representatives approved in December last year the measure that would establish a two-year mandatory National Citizens Service Training program and an optional four-year ROTC program.
In a statement on Saturday, DND Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said they “commit to take an active part in the legislative process through our full cooperation and inputs, whenever and wherever they are needed.”
“It is the duty of every citizen to protect this country. If needed, the state can order them to defend. This is included in our constitution,” Dela Rosa said. (PNA)