‘Equality: core of ASEAN, reserve core’—RMTU ROTC Commander

IBA, Zambales — Equality—that’s the best quality of ASEAN which marked the core of Ricky Balario, the Core Commander of the Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) in Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU).

“Hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yung equality na sinabi ng resource speaker—na wala sa kulay, wala sa paniniwala o relihiyon, wala kung sino ka. As long as [nasa] ASEAN ka, iisa kayo, iisa tayo (I will never forget the equality said by the resource speaker—that regardless of one’s color, belief or religion, or personality. As long as you’re [in] ASEAN, you are one, we are one),” he said during the ASEAN Campus Forum of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 3.

The 20-year-old Core Commander shared that equality is seen through unity, which is the very core of ASEAN, and of ROTC, as well.

“Honestly, by virtue of rank, there is discrimination in the Core. But, in ASEAN, I am motivated to insist and instil equality among my troops,” he remarked.

On another note, as a third year student of Elementary Education, Balario is thrilled with the implementation of K+12 in the country.

“We have finally synchronized with the standardization of basic education. This makes it easier for us Filipinos to transfer schools in other countries, especially in other ASEAN member states. Add to that the free visa in the ASEAN region, which benefits us the most,” Balario stressed.

Furthermore, he said that there is so much more in store for the Filipinos what with the three community pillars of ASEAN.

“ASEAN bears and bares so much opportunities for us. Let’s not take it for granted, therefore, let us always remember that we are one, we are ASEAN,” he noted.

As part of hyping the Philippine Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this 2017, PIA in Central Luzon will be holding campus forums in different provinces to educate and pitch support from the youth in this endeavor,” PIA Regional Director William Beltran said.

RMTU was the sixth campus it visited after Tarlac State University, Central Luzon State University, Aurora State College of Technology, Tarlac Agricultural University, and Bataan Peninsula State University.

Other educational institutions it will visit this year include Pampanga State Agricultural University, and Bulacan State University. — Jean Ricelle A. Aquino

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