(Photo courtesy of Naval Reseve Center West)

The Naval Reserve Center-West (NRCW) is offering to handle the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) of Palawan National School (PNS) should the proposed law making it mandatory in grade school is passed.

Lt. Col. Leo Frincillo, commander of the NRCW, believes that the proposed measure is beneficial to the country, especially during national emergencies.

In the bill, ROTC is proposed to cover Grades 11 and 12.

“Tulad nga ng sinabi ni Presidente (Rodrigo Duterte), kung hindi ipa-prioritize ang ROTC darating ang punto na pagdating ng emergency maraming hindi marunong humawak ng baril kaya kailangan talaga na as long as estudyante pa sila ay equipped na sila and ready to augment the regular forces once na mayroong national emergency. Maganda ‘yan, mas pabor sa atin sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) dahil may force multiplier, malaki ang advantage nito sa aming nasa regular force,” he said.

Frincillo said that once the bill is approved, they will follow what will be stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Local Citizen Training Program (LCTP).

He added they will also coordinate with the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Education (DepEd).

“May designated schools na kami kung saan ‘yan ang tututukan namin, ‘yong Palawan National School, depende ‘yan sa school kung hindi pa nakapag-designate ang president ay magre-request sila. Then e-endorse namin sa taas. Ngayon, na-anticipate na namin ‘yan kasi next year baka mag-start na ‘yan,” he said.

Currently, the NRCW is handling the ROTC program of the Palawan State University (PSU) and Palawan Polytechnic College, Incorporated (PPCI).

During his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte reiterated his call for the revival of the ROTC certifying it as urgent.

“Alam niyo kapag mag-giyera, 10 out of 10 hindi marunong humawak ng baril to defend even his father, mother, brothers and sisters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NRCW is still open for recruitment for reservists.