Marcos: Pro-Poor Incentives To Attract More Soldiers, ROTC Trainees

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The military must offer better incentives than leftist and terrorist groups to counter student activism and extremist violence in the country, Senator Imee R. Marcos said Monday.

“Military presence in schools and mandatory ROTC in high school will only turn off the youth and give the military a bad name,” Marcos said.

Making soldier recruitment a “pathway out of poverty” and allowing students to freely choose ROTC or civil service training in college will make the military more attractive to the youth, she explained.

Free or subsidized education, free hospitalization, life insurance, and stipends can attract both students and out-of-school youth away from activism and terrorist recruitment, Marcos said.

The military can also pattern its recruitment program after that of the United States, using catchy posters and making enlistment centers more accessible, Marcos added.

More focus can be given to regions where past recruitment has been high and “where being a soldier is considered an exceptional honor,” Marcos also said.

“Look to Ilocandia, Kalinga and Apayao provinces, tap into the warrior culture of Mindanao, reduce attention to highly urbanized cities like Manila and Cebu,” Marcos proposed.

“The military establishment has to think out of the box and be more innovative in achieving its goals of instilling discipline and patriotism among the youth and making the country read for armed conflict,” she added.

Instead of requiring high school military training that lacked community service subjects, Marcos urged greater focus on developing civic awareness and participation among grade school to college students through a Citizen Service Program outlined in a bill she filed at the Senate.