President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Friday said amendments were made to the AFP law to strengthen professionalism in the military and address the complaints of some junior officials.
"The amendments to the AFP law were really to address some of the comments and complaints actually, from some... especially the younger officers... aba, matagal masyado maiwan 'yung mga senior officers, wala na kaming pag-asang mapromote sa mataas na position," Marcos told reporters in Ilocos Norte.
Marcos signed the amendment on the AFP law on May 17, 2023, through Republic Act No. 11939.
Under the new law, the following officials holding key positions in the AFP shall have a maximum tour of duty of two consecutive years, which shall commence on the date the appointment is signed, unless sooner terminated by the President:
- Commanding General, Philippine Army
- Commanding General, Philippine Air Force
- Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy
- Superintendent, Philippine Military Academy
Meanwhile, the AFP chief of staff will still have a maximum tour of duty of three consecutive years, which shall commence on the date the appointment is signed, unless sooner terminated by the President, under the new law.
Marcos also explained that the retirement age of military officials needed to be adjusted because of the K to 12 program.
"We move the retirement age from 55 to 57 for really simple reason, K to 12. Ang mga recruit mas matanda na, they come in two years later. So we should move also to adjust... kasi they come in two years later, we should adjust naman sa retirement. Mukha namang well-received 'yun," said Marcos.
In the compulsory retirement for military personnel, the following officers shall be compulsory retired:
- Those in the grades of second lieutenant/ensign (O-1) to Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral (O-9), upon reaching the age of 57-years-old or upon accumulation of 30 years of satisfactory active duty, whichever comes later.
- The chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under Section 2 (a) of this Act, upon completion of the tour of duty or upon relief by the President.
- Those occupying a key position under Section 2 (b) of this Act, upon completion of the tour of duty, or upon relief by the President.
- Those commissioned under Presidential Decree No. 1908, and those appointed in the Corps of Professors upon reaching the age of 60-years-old or completion of 20 years of satisfactory active duty, whichever comes later.
The new law also mandates that an enlisted personnel shall be compulsory retired upon accumulation of at least 30 years of satisfactory active duty or upon reaching the age of 57-years-old, whichever comes later.
Meanwhile, Marcos also said he is pushing for self-regenerating pension plans for both the military and the police.
"Now, we’re working hard on making sure that we have a pension plan both for the AFP and for the police," Marcos said, noting that the pension plan must be self-sustaining.
Marcos said the present pension funds could start to shrink in five to six years: "So habang bago pa mangyari ‘yun, inuunahan na natin. We are designing a better system."
Aside from providing a better pension plan for the security forces, Marcos also wants to provide a housing program for them.
"We are also putting together a program for housing for uniformed services, the police, and the AFP … I think we will be able to do it at kasama na rin, maybe we can tie it up with the pension," the President said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News