Galvez Clarifies ROTC Program Will Build Resilience Of Trainees, Not Cure Mental Health Problems

Defense Secretary Galvez: “What we intend to convey during the Senate hearing was that …”

GALVEZ – Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. clarified that the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program will help build the resilience of the trainees.

Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr
Photo source: OneNews.PH

The Defense Secretary issued the statement after he made a controversial remark during the Senate hearing on the proposed revival of the mandatory ROTC program in the Philippines.

On Monday, he said in a statement that the enhanced ROTC program will help “build the strength of character and resilience” of the trainees which may positively foster mental health.

What we intend to convey during the Senate hearing was that through our enhanced Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, we would be able to build the strength of character and resilience of our trainees, qualities which positively foster mental health,” he said.

To recall, the Defense Secretary attended a Senate hearing on Monday where senators are conducting a hearing on proposals to make the ROTC program mandatory for college students in the country.

At that time, he said that trainees develop their “survival instincts” because of the intense military training that they have to overcome. He also believed that the ROTC program can help in curing mental health problems because it will increase the “frustration tolerance” of the trainees.

Galvez’s remark earned the ire of mental health advocates and experts.

Recently, P3PWD (Komunidad ng Pamilya, Pasyente, at Persons with Disabilities) Party-list nominee Rowena Guanzon reacted to Galvez’s claim, saying that mental health problems can’t be cured by more stress and physical strain but “can make things worse for the person with disability”.

READ ALSO: Rowena Guanzon Reacts to Galvez’s Claim ROTC Can Help ‘Cure’ Mental Health Problems

However, the Defense Secretary clarified that he didn’t mean to offend those who suffer mental health problems over his remark.

According to him, the Department of National Defense’s proposed ROTC program aims to develop the basic psychosocial support competencies among the trainees so that they can “respond to stressful situations”.

Galvez also noted that among the courses eyed to be inculcated in the program include those courses that are “specifically designed to foster resilience, self-leadership, character-building, and discipline”.

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