THE House of Representatives yesterday approved on third and final reading the measure that makes the Reserve Officers Training Corps. (ROTC) program mandatory for Grades 11 and 12.
The House Bill 8961 got approval from 167 solons with only four voting negative and no one abstaining.
The bill mandates military training under ROTC to all students in senior high school in public and private educational institutions.
The military training would be required for both male and female students.
President Rodrigo Duterte had asked Congress to revert back ROTC program.
Under the bill, students undergoing basic and advance ROTC training will be provided free hospitalization in any government hospital in case of accident or injury during the training.
Meawhile the bill provides exemptions that include those physically or psychologically unfit as certified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Surgeon General or his authorized medical officer; those who have undergone or are undergoing similar military training; those who were chosen by their school to serve as varsity players in sports competitions; those exempt from training for valid reasons as approved by the Department of National Defense.
The bill states that graduates of basic ROTC will be eligible for commissionship through lateral entry and enlistment in the AFP, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Fire Protection.