THE UNIVERSITY’S National Service Training Program (NSTP) Office has cried foul over the proposed revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for college students.

The proposal has been made by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to increase the number of military reservists.

But mandatory ROTC “would deprive students of their right to choose,” said UST-NSTP Moderator Jose Ricarte Origenes.

“The said measure would deprive the students of their right to choose which type of (national) service they would want to perform — military, civic or literacy (training),” Origenes said in an e-mail to the Varsitarian.

Enacted in 2002, the Republic Act 9163, commonly known as the NSTP Law, gave college students the freedom to choose whether to render national service by enrolling for two consecutive semesters in ROTC, Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), or Literacy Training Service (LTS).

The law was passed after the public outrage over the killing of Mark Welson Chua, a UST Mechanical Engineering student who exposed corruption in the ROTC, which was reported by the the Varsitarian in March 2001.

While only male students took up ROTC before, the NSTP law required female students to render national service.

Nowadays too, ROTC has started to accept female students.

In UST, both the LTS and CWTS programs have almost 8,000 students, compared with the 1,000 taking up ROTC.

“[The CWTS and LTS] have helped in the war against poverty and lack of education through their various projects in their partner communities,” Origenes said.

The revival of mandatory ROTC may hinder the community development efforts of UST, said Origenens. The University has more than 200 partner communities in six provinces adjacent to Metro Manila.

Nation of heroes and thieves

Mandatory ROTC does not sit well with some students.

Isabel Gaden, a Business Economics freshman, said that students must be provided options on how to render national service.

Education freshman Sophie Bañez said some students may not be physically built to do military work.

The Varsitarian has sought the side of the University’s ROTC unit, but it has yet to respond.


  1. Sa aking opinyon lamang, mas papaboran ko ang istraktura ng NSTP kung gagawin pa ring mandatory ang ROTC sa mga kalalakihang magaaral na may pisikal na kakayahan. Gayunman, sana lagyan pa rin ng sibilyan na serbisyong pagsasanay ang ROTC na likas talagang pang-militar na kasanayan. Naniniwala kasi ako sa ganitong anyo ng programa dahil kahit mismo ang mga uniformed armed services ay nakakapag-lungsad ng mga serbisyong pang-sibilyan gaya ng paggawa ng mga pampublikong istraktura, pagtuturo ng literacy at mga civic disaster responses. Gayunman, kahit man sila ay mananatiling mga sibilyan pagkatapos ng kanilang pag-aaral ay nakahanda sila sa mga gagawing deployment sa oras ng pambansang kagipitan, pang-militar man o pang-sibilyan.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.