DUMAGUETE CITY - A total of 331 youths are currently undergoing a four-week Reserve Officers' Training Corps or ROTC Summer Camp Training at the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Leonardo Pena, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, said the summer camp training is "intended for the ROTC cadets who are projected to become ROTC officers in their different schools".
Some trainees are from Silliman University and St. Paul University in this capital city and from a few other schools, he said.
The in-house training reeled off with an opening program on August 7 at the Old Administrative building of Camp Leon Kilat, where the brigade is headquartered and will end sometime on the first week of September, he added.
It is facilitated by the 703rd Community Defense Center (703 CDC), 7 Regional Community Defense Group (7RCDG) of the Philippine Army Reserve Command.
"The training was already programmed during the years covered by the Covid-19 pandemic but it did not pan out due to restrictions," Pena said. "This is in support of our Army Reserve Command program. We are showing here that even the regular Army troops are in support of this reservist activity."
The ROTC Summer Camp Training Class 2021-2022 is also in response to the call of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to Congress to pass a law mandating the conduct of ROTC in schools to bolster the country's disaster resilience efforts, the Army commander said.
"The discipline that will be instilled in you, individually, after satisfying the requirements of this training camp will be very beneficial to our country for you will form part of the Reserve Force that will eventually be integrated into our Regular Army Force in times of natural calamities for disaster relief operations, in case of war, and during peace-time for training exercises like this," Pena said during the opening.
For his part, Vice Governor Carlo George Joan L. Reyes, who was the keynote speaker, said the trainees must possess a positive attitude and absorb every lecture under the course to complete the training as their takeaways would come in handy in the future.
A traditional reception rite for the in-house trainees, comprising 153 females and 178 males, was held afterward. (PNA)