DND Undersecretary Ignacio Madriaga (Screenshot from Zoom)
Instead, Ignacio said that based on their proposed curriculum, the ROTC-takers in those grades will study more about lessons on patriotism, disaster resilience, and Philippine military history.
“Ang intensyon po nito na bigyang kaalaman ang ating mga kabataan tungkol po sa patriotism, sa pagiging mabuting mamamayan. Hindi po ito yung tipikal na martsa-martsa po agad o tinatawagan nating military-centric (The intention of which is to teach our youth about patriotism, about being good citizens. This isn’t the typical marching-marching, or what we call military-centric activities),” he told the House Committee on Appropriations.
Madriaga said they’re already in talks with the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding the proposed ROTC curriculum.
“Ang purpose po nitong prinisent natin na program of instruction para sa Grade 11 and 12, ito po is yung i-develop yung citizenship ng tao at isalang po doon ang disaster resilience (The purpose of the program of instruction for Grade 11 and 12 that we presented is to develop one’s citizenship and also serve as a platform for learning disaster resilience),” he added.
On Thursday, the appropriations panel took into consideration the proposed P310-billion budget of DND for 2023. Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. led the DND contingent that faced members of the panel.
One of the solon-interpellators, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel of Makabayan bloc, said that pupils can be taught disaster resilience elsewhere, thus making ROTC unnecessary. He said that there has to be another purpose why the government is pushing for the return of ROTC.
“Sang-ayon po ako sa sinabi ni Rep. Manuel na mayroong nagtuturo naman po ng disaster resilience sa ibang institution. But palagay po naming mas maganda po na mas maraming nagtuturo ng disaster resilience ay mas maganda po sa ating bayan (I agree with what Rep. Manuel said that other institutions can teach disaster resilience. But we think that the more places there are that teach disaster resilience, the better for out country),” Madriaga noted.
He said that other subjects under the ROTC curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 include drug awareness and adherence to traffic rules.
According to him, the only subject in the curriculum that has anything to do with the military at all is military history. Under this subject, the pupils will be taught about the youth of decades past who fought for the freedom of the land during the Japanese occupation and similar times of dire need.
“At ang highlight po nitong military history aspect na ito ay yung mga pagpasyal sa ating mga military historical sites at ang kakausap po sa kanila ay yung mga beterano natin na lumaban noong panahon na sila ay 17, 18 anyos. Para malaman po nung ating mga kabataan ngayon na sila ay may papel, na malaking papel upang pangalagaan ang ating bayan sa anomang pangangailangan, sakuna man po ito o panahon ng digmaan (And the highlight of this military history aspect are trips to military historical sites where the students will get to talk to veterans who fought for the country when they were 17 or 18 years old. With this, our youth will realize that they have a huge role in protecting our land during times of disasters or war),” explained Madriaga.
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