Army reserve plays critical role in nation-building amid COVID-19: Army chief

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During the visit of Philippine Army commanding general Lieutenant General Gilbert I. Gapay to Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) on June 3 at Camp Regio de Dios, Tanza, Cavite, he conveyed his guidance on strengthening the Army’s reserve component as it plays a critical role in nation-building amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Philippine Army said as Combat Service Support Unit, ARESCOM administers the recruitment, training, and management of Army reservists in the country who will provide support in socio-economic development, environmental protection, and disaster and rescue operations.

“In the past five months, ARESCOM provided 929 unit development related initiatives and humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations including evacuation assistance, repacking, and distribution of relief goods during the Taal Eruption, Typhoon Ursula, and the current COVID-19 crisis. In line with the Army’s modernization efforts, ARESCOM further developed the Ready Reserve and ROTC units; the ARESCOM Training School; and provisionally activated the 1st Community Defense Brigade. It has also institutionalized school and university-wide recruitment of ROTC cadets,” the Philippine Army said.

It noted that the reserve force’s mission is to provide a base for expansion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the event of war, invasion, and rebellion, or during national emergencies.

“The reserve component shall also assist in relief and rescue operations during disaster or calamities, in socio-economic development, and in the operation and maintenance of essential government or private utilities in the furtherance of the over-all mission as stated in Republic Act. No. 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act,” the Army added.

“Transitioning to the New Normal, we shall also preserve and sustain the capabilities of the Force through aggressive COVID-19 information campaign, responsive health-related programs, and security and logistics support to various government programs,” Lieutenant General Gapay said. “By aiming to be the future Army, ARESCOM is on the right track. By practicing excellence, we will all win.”