Comelec lauds move to include voters’ education in ROTC revival

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has welcomed the proposal to incorporate voters’ education with the possible revival of the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said it would educate young Filipinos about their rights to suffrage.

“Having voters’ education (in the ROTC program) is always a good idea,” he added.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the revival of the ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 in public and private schools nationwide.

He believed that reviving ROTC would help instill among the youth values of patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual values, respect for human rights, and adherence to the Constitution.

On the other hand, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez supported the statement of the poll body chief.

“(The ROTC can) provide an opportunity for civic and voter education,” he said.

Jimenez added, “(It will) expose the youth to the idea that democracy isn’t a spectator sport; that it requires commitment and effort from them, even as they enjoy its benefits.”

Congress has to amend Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act for the proposal to be approved.