[UNDERCURRENT] ROTC and national discipline


“A wise man can play the part of a clown but a clown can’t play the part of a wise man.” - MALCOLM X


Many may have observed critically that the country’s myriad woes stem from an endemic lack of discipline among our people.

 No need to elaborate.

Take a walk outside. Stand and watch from a street corner the great number of pedestrians violating traffic laws and ordinances.

Observe how PUJs and other drivers conduct themselves as they go about earning a living. They think they own the streets as they park anywhere and even use any available area to urinate or throw away their trash.

This alone tells us that Pinoys lack self-discipline and the nation suffers.

On the subject of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, many pros and cons have been aired publicly about the suggestion that ROTC should be re-installed as mandatory in college.

If I heard it correctly, VP Sara Duterte, in her capacity as Dep-Ed Secretary has suggested that it be re-instituted as mandatory before someone graduates from college. 

May I proudly state here that I went through a two-year ROTC course in my collegiate days at an era when wearing long hair was the trend in part due to the Beatle-mania influence.

ROTC officers usually bring scissors and indiscriminately cut a large portion of the scalp area of a cadet sporting a Beatle-like hair to ensure that - next time around - the fellow would be sporting a white-side wall, short cropped hairdo. 

As a college freshman in the mid-sixties, I was one of the many young cadets then who sported long Beatle-like hairdo and got collared by our ROTC superiors when we tried to make a quiet “escape.” Hehehe.

Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel are four of the countries I know that have made it a patriotic duty for all their young citizens to undergo military training.

In case anything happens beyond human control, they can - in a jiffy - harness reserve manpower resources. 

Even North Korea requires it because they need more ready and able bodied young soldiers to replace the old ones who are on the verge of retirement. 

In our case, we cannot hope to build a strong nation and a strong republic if the people - the citizens - are not consciously aware that national discipline strengthens a people’s resolve to stay resilient amidst the worrisome global developments.

ROTC-trained citizens can assist LGUs while waiting for assistance from the national agencies during extensive disasters and natural calamities due to typhoons, earthquakes, floods, disease epidemic, etc.

Regardless of the negatives that some sectors are hurling against the re-institution of ROTC, these cannot refute the truth that Pinoys do lack a genuine sense of self-discipline necessary to propel us forward to national progress and national unity.

If there is none yet, the legislation of a new ROTC law is ideally required so that the loopholes and sad experiences of the past can be addressed properly.

If lawmakers find ROTC appropriately implementable during the senior high school years of a student instead of in college, so be it.

Parents should laud VP Sara for strongly re-introducing this important citizen military training because complacency is a bad habit that has disabled - to a certain degree - some of our traditional Christian values.

Young Pinoys - the millenials - are so engulfed with their IT gadgets that they are being led to believe that they cannot live without them.

This easy and comfortable mentality starkly describes the state of affairs that make it difficult to achieve the goals of nation-building.

There is nothing easy in this material world - in this planet where only the fittest survive.

ROTC, in the final analysis, kills inertia and creates a positive citizens movement to achieve unity and national discipline.

Let’s go for it, guys! (Email feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!


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