The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) needs to recruit at least 500-600 new officers every year to take the place of officers who resign and retire from government military service. Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed this to media at the sidelines of the Philippine Military Academy graduation events over the weekend.
Lorenzana said the government needs additional forces to augment the armed forces requirement in the field.
“The products of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is not enough. That’s why we are recruiting the reserve officers training corps and even four-year course graduates and train them to become officers of the Armed Forces to replace those who vacate their slots,” he said.
Under the law, soldiers are mandatorily retired upon reaching their 56th birthday.
The AFP also loses soldiers due to death in the course of military operations.
Lorenza cited, for instance, the Marawi siege, where government troops from Luzon and the Visayas were pulled out of their posts and brought to Mindanao to reinforce the troop requirement there, leaving those soldiers’ posts undermanned.
The defense chief related that after the Marawi conflict, local government units (LGUs) complained because they were left unguarded due to the posting of their military personnel to Mindanao.
“We are not preparing for something big and we’re praying that the conflict in Marawi won’t happen again. But if it does, we are prepared and our LGU’s will no longer complain,” Lorenzana said.
He added the recruits would be trained for at least a year and would be commissioned to become regular members of the government military forces if they pass.
Lorenzana attended the PMA’s awarding ceremony for the outstanding cadets on Saturday and the graduation rites of the PMA “Alab Tala” class of 2018 on Sunday. PNA