October 17, 2009 06:10 PM Saturday
Where’s the nat’l service reserve corps
By: Egay Serrano
PRIMA FACIEHundreds of National Service Training Program graduates since 2002 should have been made part of a nationwide volunteer group that should have been organized by the Department of National Defense
Under Section 11 of the NSTP Act of 2001, the creation of a National Service Reserve Corps was mandated to be composed of graduates of the non-ROTC component of the NSTP.
Members of this corps may be tapped by the State for literacy and civic welfare activities, especially in times of calamities through the joint efforts of DND, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
As envisioned in the law, the organization of the service corps should be done in coordination with Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and other concerned agencies/associations.
The CHEd, TESDA, and DND, in consultation with other concerned government and non-government agencies, should have long ago issued the necessary guidelines for the establishment, organization, maintenance, and utilization of the National Service Reserve Corps.
Tasked to oversee and monitor the implementation of the NSTP under their respective jurisdictions, CHEd Regional Offices, TESDA Provincial/District Offices, and DND-AFP (through the Major Service Reserve Commands), were supposed to determine if the trainings conducted are in consonance with the NSTP Act.
Periodic reports were to be submitted to the Central Offices of the CHEd, TESDA, and DND. At the end of every school year these higher education institutions must submit an annual teport to the CHEdRO that should indicate the names of students who finished under each NSTP component; the programs, projects and activities undertaken with pictorials and documentations; and the financial statements on the funds collected, allocated, and utilized.
Centrally determined serial numbers will be issued by the Office of Student Services and assigned by the CHEdROs to the respective HEIs based on the submitted list of NSTP-CWTS, LTS graduates.
The submission of electronic and hard copies of NSTP graduates’ profile with the corresponding assigned serial numbers should be forwarded to the CHEd-Office of Student Services that, in turn, regularly submits these data to the National Disaster Coordinating Council - Office of Civil Defense, DND.
Thus, the system made sure that the NDCC and, down the line, the local disaster coordinating councils would never run out of able-bodied and young volunteers in time of calamities and emergencies.
We should take pride that long before the Americans, due to the disarray and lack of a coordinated response to 9/11terror attacks and the Hurricane Katrina that they experienced, thought of creating its new Rapid-Response Reserve Corps that would initially train 50,000 members who could be deployed for two-week periods in response to emergencies, we already have the needed steps to create the National Service Reserve Corps in place.
Alas, all these were never done by the concerned government offices. The DND, as institutional chair of the NDCC, failed in its task to fully prepare and protect the nation from natural and man-made tragedies like what we’ve experienced of late.
This corner believes we don’t need a new law to prepare us for the next disaster. We just have to put more teeth to existing laws and make sure that these are properly implemented.
Grand UE Alumni Homecoming set
It’s all systems go for the Grand UE Alumni Homecoming 2009 on October 24 at 5 p.m. at the UE Dalupan Lobby and Quadrangle.
“The celebration took a backseat to give Ondoy victims the appropriate and immediate assistance they need,” UE marketing executive director and UEAAI adviser Jesus T. Tanchanco, Sr. said.
Originally scheduled last October 3, the grand alumni homecoming was postponed to allow organizers to assist in the UE relief operations for UE students, faculty members, and other personnel living in areas affected by the flooding brought by typhoon Ondoy.