Nationalism may be said to be patriotism in action. It is a love of country; and as a consequence of that love or as it’s expression, is a duty, bound to advance the ideas of upholding the whole complex of the elements, factors, and activities encompassed by the state.
Patriotism is a virtue which compels every citizen of the state to render love, reverence, honor and service. Our country is known for its patriotic citizens. This good characteristic of a Filipino is a product of proper education. Man learns many changes, but if these changes do not change him to a better person, then he has not acquired education.
One way of instilling the tenet of patriotism to an individual is through education. The government assured its citizen to continuously provide security and protection, Article 2, Section 4 of the Philippine constitution provides its prime duty to serve and protect the people. The principle embodied in this mandate, further demands that, “The government can call upon the people to defend the state and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required under conditions provided by the law, to render personal, military and civic service.”¹
The constitutional provision covers both time of peace and war. The state fulfills its duty by pursuing and implementing the state policies mandated in Article 1, Section 1 to 28 of the Philippine Constitution.
The implementation of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in Bicol University was anchored on Article 7, Section 38 and 39 of the Republic Act 7077, which states that, “Military training for students enrolled in colleges, universities and similar institutions of learning is mandatory pursuant to the provisions of the National defense Act of 1935 and the 1987 Constitution.”² as such their mandate is to request for the conduct of military training in their institution for the purpose of producing enlisted and officer reservist.
Section 15 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 232 provides also that it is the responsibility of the students to participate actively in civic affairs and be involved in the promotion of the general welfare of the people particularly in the social, economic and cultural development of his community and in the attainment of a just, compassionate and orderly society.³ The establishment of the ROTC program is made compulsory in Bicol University until the proclamation of the Republic Act 9163 otherwise known as the National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act of 2001.
The National Service Training Program (NSTP) is a curriculum requirement for all college students taking up baccalaureate degrees or two (2) year technical vocational courses starting SY 2002 – 2003. It was promulgated as a congressional action in the aftermath of the widespread nationwide protest in 2001 calling for the abolition of the ROTC for its gross mismanagement and the harsh bullying culture of its officers, which led to the fatalities among its cadet corps.⁴
The NSTP reconstructed the RA 7077, the later requiring ROTC as mandatory, reducing ROTC as a merely optional and voluntary, while adding two (2) other programs from which the other college students may liberally chose to undergo and be trained. The NSTP gives importance to the enhancement of civic consciousness without compromising the national security needs of the country in the event of war, thereby retaining the ROTC as a component program of the NSTP instead of entirely abolishing it.⁵
The legal basis for the optional ROTC was the Presidential Decree 1706, providing for the compulsory national service for Filipino citizens and amending certain sections of the Commonwealth Act 1, as amended, otherwise known as, “The National Defense Act” which seeks to make the ROTC an optional subject for male college students.⁶ However, House Bill Number 3593, was an act also to establish the NSTP for all higher and technical, vocational institutions.