Forty-two percent of Filipinos want the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program to be optional in senior high school (SHS), results of a Social Weather Stations survey released on Thursday showed.

Only 35 percent of Filipinos wanted the ROTC program to be mandatory in SHS.

Meanwhile, 22 percent said the ROTC program should not be in the SHS curriculum.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his first State of the Nation Address called on Congress to pass a law that would make ROTC mandatory for SHS students.

Marcos Jr.’s mandatory ROTC proposal was for students in Grades 11 and 12 in all public and private tertiary-level educational institutions in the country.

Mandatory ROTC was abolished in 2002 following the death of Mark Welson Chua, a student of the University of Santo Tomas who exposed anomalies in the training corps.

ROTC was made optional through the National Service Training Program Act of 2001, or Republic Act No. 9163. John Ezekiel J. Hirro