President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has given his commitment for the funding needed to recruit and train 10,000 more soldiers for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This was announced by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya in a statement Saturday.
“The AFP is grateful to President Duterte for his commitment to allocate an amount for the enlistment and training of 10,000 more additional personnel to beef up the number of the AFP personnel by yearend,” he added.
Visaya was the one who made the recommendation for the additional 10,000 troops. “This is certainly going to be a big boost in our fight towards ensuring that the AFP is able to perform its mandate,” he added.
“With this manifest support of the President, it behooves the AFP to accomplish its mission of protecting the people and the State, securing its sovereignty and the integrity of the national territory,” Visaya stressed.
In the same vein, Duterte also declared that the “AFP modernization will definitely continue.” The President made this unequivocal assurance to the officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees during his first visit to 6th Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao last week.
Also present was Visaya, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Edgar R. Fallorina, Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Caesar T. Taccad and Army commander Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano. Duterte assuaged the fears of many that the AFP Modernisation will be placed in the back burner anew during his term.
“There will even be no refocusing of modernization thrust, we will only adjust our priorities,” the President was quoted as saying. “For the time being, we will be attending to the more pressing needs of our soldiers now engaged in focused military operation in Basilan, Sulu, Central Mindanao, and other areas in southern Philippines,” he added.
“The procurements will be more of force protection equipment (FPE) for our soldiers like helmets and vests, more night-fighting systems capability, additional fast crafts for our Navy, additional helicopters capable of night flight for the Navy and Air Force, and more communications equipment,” the President said.
With this development, Visaya said the entire AFP is very grateful this manifestation of the President’s genuine concern for our troops in the field who face peril in their lives and limbs on a daily basis. “The fast crafts and helicopters meanwhile will be of immense help in foiling kidnapping attempts by the members of the Abu Sayyaf, among others acts of terrorism and criminality by unscrupulous individuals and groups, these may prevent or curb,” he added.
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