By Natha Le Louise B. Bureros | MEDIA BURRREROS
Vol. XCI No. 14
Jan. 17, 2020
Patriotism is the love for the country and your willingness to sacrifice for it, as a consequence of that love, is a duty. A duty which obliges every citizen of a state to give love, respect, honor and service. We have the National Service Training Program (NSTP) for the youth that aims to enhance civic consciousness and defense preparedness by instilling the ethics of service and patriotism under the three program components; Citizens’ Welfare Training Service (CWTS), Literacy Training Service (LTS), and Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
ROTC is one of the NSTP components that is designed to provide military education and training for students. The program provides leadership development and offers preparation to become an officer of the military.
The program had already suffered many controversies and attempts to be abolished. One of it was the crisis in 2001, which unfortunately ended the life of Cadet Sergeant Major Mark Welson Chua, a UST-ROTC cadet, who was brutally murdered. The incident fired up anti-ROTC protests, demanding to abolish the program. It did not take long for the Congress to make a legal change, in response to the protests, the program was made optional together with two other programs under NSTP.
Amid the controversies and backlash, ROTC withstood and remained as training ground for the youths and served its purpose and relevance to the country.
The program is more than just field trainings, and drills such as marching, rifle drills, ceremonies, and exercises.
It also equips the cadets to be proficient in performing basic first aid to help save and preserve lives. The ROTC cadets get the said training to assess situations depending on the risks they pose to the affected parties. The cadets recieves a supervised instructions and hands on training from the medics, thus boosting their confidence to ability to appropriately act and treat injuries.
For the SU ROTC Unit, it commits on giving white gifts for the less fortunate yearly, giving school supplies to kids, doing monthly outreach programs and also supporting different causes as a way of giving back to the community. The unit also requires cadets to plant trees in their own respective hometowns.
Over the months in ROTC, my ideals started to change and I learned a lot about what I was really capable of. Yes, the program is difficult in some ways because it requires quite a lot of time and dedication but the experience and the people you get to work with are irreplaceable. I have favored the program and don’t have any doubt it has developed me into something new and that I greatly encourage everybody who feels even the slightest calling to serve, to give the ROTC program a chance and give it a go.