The University of the Philippines Diliman through the Department of Military Science and Tactics entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Philippine Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM), through a virtual ceremonial signing held via Zoom last December 23, 2021. 

The agreement was signed by UP Diliman Chancellor Dr. Fidel Nemenzo and National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group Commander Col. Ricky P. Bunayog. Other signatories also include Dr. Theresa T. Payongayong (Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs), Asst. Prof. Dennis F. Quilala (National Service Training Program [NSTP] Director),  Col. Haron S. Akaz (Director of the 1302nd Community Defense Center), and Col. Jaime R. Datuin (Commandant at the UPD Reserve Officers’ Training Corps [ROTC] Unit).

(L-R, 1st Row: Chancellor Fidel Nemezo, Col. Ricky Bunayog, Col. Haron Akaz; 2nd Row: Col. Jaime R. Datuin, Asst. Prof. Dennis Quilala, and Dr. Theresa T. Payongayong) 

Also present to witness the virtual ceremony were Asst. Prof. Arlyn Macapinlac (Office of Field Activities Diliman Director), Lizzy Guevara (OFA Senior Project Assistant), 2LT Elmar John Anciete, Atty. John Barona (NSTP ROTC Coordinator), and Godfrey Agpaoa.  OFA served as the main unit which liaised with the parties in processing the MoU.

The MoU between both parties will allow the ARESCOM to provide and implement the ROTC program in the University. While the major support command of the Philippine Army has been leading the implementation of the program in the University, the ceremony formally strengthened the collaboration between ARESCOM and UPD.

Among the University’s responsibilities in return is to encourage students to enlist ROTC as their NSTP component. It shall also ensure adequate training grounds, classroom facilities, and office space to house the unit.

The ROTC program, one of the components of the NSTP, is institutionalized under Sections 38 and 39 of Republic Act No. 7077 and designed to provide military training to tertiary-level students to, “motivate, train, organize, and mobilize them for national defense preparedness”. This also aims to enhance young people’s active contribution to the nation.