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CWTS on Enhancement of Civic Consciousness

By Roy B. Bergonia

To give an overview, the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), Literacy

Training Service (LTS) and Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are the
components of the National Service Training Program (NSTP). It is mandated by law
(Republic Act 9163) that every Filipino students, in tertiary education, must take the
course prior to graduation. University of Santo Tomas offers the three components of
NSTP. Each Filipino Thomasian students has to decide whether to take ROTC in his
first year or CWTS/LTS during his second year.
The Republic Act states that CWTS refers to the programs or activities
contributory to the general betterment of life for the members of the community or the
enhancement of facilities, especially those devoted to improving health, education,
entrepreneurship, safety recreation and morals of the citizenry. It aims to enhance the
civic consciousness of the students but does it really help in optimizing the youths
understanding to the current state of the society? Or should it be removed in the
curriculum for it just adds to the burden of each student? Is the social consciousness
that the program imparts to the students enough to let the program stay just as it is and
need not to be modified?
The role of the youth in nation building. Our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, once
said, The youth is the hope of the Motherland. With their capability to contribute to the
development and improvement of their nation, they must focus on bringing the
advancement of resolving current social issues and understanding the effects of these
issues towards the union of the nation and its people. What hinders them from
achieving this goal is the twining of the issues which makes it hard for the youth to
determine the flow of each social problem. But they must always keep in mind that
every problem has its own beginning and ending. And therefore, the youths task is to
find its end. CWTS prepares the youth to this task by immersing the students to the
social reality so that the student should come to know the actuality of the social
challenge and to amend their civic consciousness.
A Christian call and thomasian response. Man is composed of soul, intellect and
will. These components provide man the capability to think, to reason out things, and to
decide and carry out his decisions. It has been the basis of approach on social concerns
which starts by envisioning the main problem and the possible causes and then
explaining the scenario and overall flow of the issue. And lastly, to determine the
appropriate action by understanding the basic foundation of these issues in order to
eradicate these problems. Also, thomasians need the three thomasian core values:
competence, compassion and commitment. These convey the values which the
students must develop during the step of performing their social responsibility. They
should be: Competent in attaining social awareness. Compassionate in pursing public
welfare. This concerns how the student feel about the problem, and how he finds his

stance in providing service, advocacy and empowerment. Committed in civic

engagement which involves the tight participation in doing civil services as a social
responsibility. CWTS provides students active involvement on social concerns with the
guide of Christian principles and thomasian identity.
National concerns. National concerns are personal concerns. What burdens the
nation burdens every single person. It is a fact that most people dont care of the
nations economy, its GDP, GNP, etc. It maybe is because people tend to care about
themselves much, much more that they dont even mind the countrys concerns.
Examples of issues which national concerns are economic issues, national security, and
socio-political affairs where most of the students are not looking out for. The active
involvement of students on national issues is a big step towards national development.
It is when we partake responsibility along with accountability that social development is
Disaster preparedness and management. We never know what happens next.
We never have a solid grasp of whats going to be in the next second because for all I
know, one moment, one thing is something, and the next moment, it may cease to exist.
Vielka Adap. CWTS aims to increase the students preparedness in times of a
disaster or a calamity. The Philippines is situated near the Pacific Ocean and part of the
pacific ring of fire. This means that it is prone to typhoons, averaging of 20 per year, and
earthquakes due to the numerous active volcanoes. CWTS prepares the students to
this devastating events by conducting a seminar with the intent of providing basic
survival information, dos and donts during a disaster, and first aid cure in case of a
casualty, etc. It enhances the reliability of the students to take part in the disaster risk
reduction, thus, maximizing human resources to limit total casualty.
Community development and community organizing. My experience in
participating in the feeding session and conducting workshops for the kids at Dagatdagatan, Navotas helped me to become a better child and a sister to my family. Since
we almost had half of the day with the children, it made me realized how fortunate I was
compared to the kids in terms of wealth, food, shelter, clothing and materialistic
possessions but it doesnt make them less happy than I am. Charize Buenavista.
Community development pertains to the collective effort of everyone in creating
solutions to address each problem. This means that each member of the society must
contribute to the progression of their community. CWTS invokes this this thought to the
students by generating leadership towards civic involvement. The students are partially
immersed to the society through programs like feeding program and workshop for
children. With these, they find realization and actualization of the problems which the
community currently faces. They start to reflect and question themselves and this leads
to what the topic is all about, civic consciousness. Hopefully they decide to act and
participate with these social issues because awareness is just not enough, actions are
Project management and development. Digging up a hard soil with lots of rock in
it, along with the intense hot weather wasnt easy. Yes, there was a lunch break given

and you can rest if youre feeling dizzy or tired, but one thing I realized is that Its not for
me. It is not for me, not for me to just get high grades nor not for me to just show off
what I am capable of doing. Jazmin Nolaso. As I have said earlier, actions are
needed in order for an issue to be resolved. Project development relates to the
construction of a notion or concept. It is where actions are prompted and developed.
CWTS allows students to take part in the actualization of the projects for community
development. Students are hands-on to the projects which means they get to be
involved directly to the project.
Now, should the course be removed from the curriculum? No, totally no. CWTS
has been enhancing students consciousness on social issues, shaping their minds by
presenting the reality through immersion, and guiding them towards active involvement
through participatory development. It is through CWTS that the youth is influenced to
act on social issues. It is by CWTS that they learn the reality outside, the actual problem
of the community. Hopefully, the students learn the value of this course for it contains
the basic foundation of social transformation, it is the key to the locked doors of social
issues. And if students realize its importance, prepare for a massive transfiguration!