THE PHILIPPINE DEFENSE REFORM

 

In countless camps and battlefields, in social upheavals and strife, in civic missions and calamities, there are a lot of untold stories of little known acts of selflessness and courage, of dedication to duty and sacrifice, of honor and integrity, and of idealism and heroism of men and women in uniform.  There are multitudes of unheralded men and women in the Philippine military organization who have kept inviolate the uniform they wear, remained loyal to the flag and firmly stood in defense of the Constitution.  It is out of respect for their honor and sacrifices that the defense and military leadership must ensure that the institution they serve benefit from the full measure of devotion they gave.

Thus, we have set the goal of transforming our institutions while we continue performing our missions. Through the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) program, we will introduce comprehensive, institutional and systemic reforms in the defense establishment. Under the PDR, the broad improvements that are being introduced are based on best practices and templates for defense reform that have been tried and tested in several countries that have already undergone reforms with much success.

The PDR serves as the overall framework to re-engineer our systems and re-tool our personnel. Re-engineering the systems means introducing improvements in planning, programming, budgeting, logistics, procurement, management and finance, among other critical functional areas. Re-tooling the personnel means professionalizing the workforce by establishing effective staff development programs and introducing updated personnel management systems, as well as increasing training capacity in order to improve core competencies.  PDR also aims to promote cost-effectiveness and efficiency and attain and sustain a long-term balance among the following, within financial limits: (1) Forces and Personnel (Structure); (2) Equipment, Systems and Facilities (Investment); and (3) Training, Operations, Stocks, Facilities, Utilization and Sustainment (Readiness and Operations).

Short-term reforms include improvements on specific areas that need immediate action. Some of the short-term reforms covered by the PDR are improvements on critical operational and functional areas such as manpower and medical service and involve providing better benefits and services to soldiers, such as housing, retirement fund and funding pension benefits, development of medical evacuation capability and improving the AFP grievance system. On the other hand, long-term reforms necessitate comprehensive, systemic, organizational/structural and legislative measures. These include the establishment of multi-year budgeting, acquisition procedures and professional career advancement.

Reforming the defense establishment is not a “quick-fix” change. Hence, it does not happen overnight.  Reform involves long-term planning and sustained implementation of particular reform programs. Its effective implementation entails collaborative efforts among stakeholders. Also, since reform is seen as a progressive transformation, it involves the patient application of transformation processes towards the realization of the ultimate end goal. Reforms are in themselves radical and sweeping, but their implementation involves a gradual process. A massive reform program like PDR requires a sustained focus on structural and legislative efforts that cannot be completely implemented in the short-term.  Reform therefore takes some time and requires tremendous effort and commitment on the part of the immediate stakeholders in the defense and military establishment in order that stakeholders at the national, regional, and local levels could accordingly experience its impact firsthand.

Reforms through the PDR are envisioned to transform the Philippine defense and military establishment into a more effective institution in confronting current and emerging security threats, proving that it is not only capable of winning the war but it is also capable of winning the peace.

The PDR was developed in line with the Government’s thrust to suppress the 37-year old communist insurgency and other serious threats to national security.  Chapter 23 of the Philippine Medium Term Development Plan of the National Government for 2004-2010 recognizes that the ongoing insurgency and other internal security threats have a negative impact on our economy and that the resolution of these threats will significantly improve the security environment and foster a climate conducive to economic growth and national development.

The security threats confronting the country come from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) or the Communist Terrorist Movement (CTM); the Southern Philippines Secessionist Groups (SPSGs), such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and break-away factions of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF); and terrorist organizations like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).  These various threat groups have consistently demonstrated their capability to sustain their movement from quite some time and gain influence over target sectors.  They have even established linkages with international allied groups for financial and logistical support.  Likewise, they persist in undertaking selective guerilla operations and terrorist activities to create an atmosphere of instability. 

The AFP has been continuously conducting operations to destroy these groups.  However, certain limitations in the capabilities of the AFP affect the conduct of operations against internal security threats.  The RP-US Joint Defense Assessment (JDA) completed in 2003 identified capability gaps needed to be addressed to allow the AFP to effectively execute its plans and strategies and accomplish its missions.

Key recommendations based on the JDA became the basis of the 10-point PDR agenda, which essentially address not only the deficiencies found within the core competencies in the defense and military establishment but also their systemic and strategic root causes. The following key programs are interrelated in terms of their respective reform areas, urgency, achievability and impact:

1.  Multi-Year Defense Planning System (MYDPS)

A systemic approach to policy planning and development is crucial to build a capable defense and military establishment. Such an approach must be based on an in-depth analysis of the security environment and an accurate understanding of where the AFP currently stands in terms of its capabilities, manpower and readiness.

 a.  Strategy-Driven Defense Planning

Program No. 1 addresses the need for a holistic and coherent framework at the strategic level. The Multi-Year Defense Planning System (MYDPS) comprises the setting of measurable objectives, determining the requirements for achieving those objectives and allocating budget and resources to meet those requirements. The goal of the MYDPS is to institutionalize the development of strategy-driven multi-year defense plans, programs, budgets and requirements in which comprehensive strategic-level plans and planning guidance govern multi-year programs and requirements, particularly with respect to defense capability, organization and force structure, doctrines and human resources are concerned. This Program integrates all planning, programming and budgeting activities into a calendar-driven process, which will provide consistency of purpose and action among its thrusts and programs.

A significant component of MYDPS is the implementation of the Multi-Year Capability Planning System (MYCaPS), in which the DND bases its budget proposals from a multi-year perspective. This allows defense institutions to outline specific strategies, define objectives, identify needed capabilities and provide resources under anticipated financial limits. Planning, programming and budgeting under anticipated financial limits instills discipline, unifies the budget into a single budget, emphasizes optimization of resources and links spending with specific strategies and defined objectives.

After the issuance of the first-ever DPG in 2004, MYCaPS is already on its second cycle. Significantly, the DND is the first government agency to adopt a multi-year budget planning system. The new budget format that presents defense spending in a coherent and rational manner was first applied in the preparation of the 2006 DND-AFP Budget Proposal. This has already merited the approval by Congress and will be incorporated in future budget appropriations. With the new budget format, the defense and military establishment now has the capability of indicating the amount of resources being spent for a particular mission area. Apart from minimizing waste and promoting accountability, the short-term and long-term consequences of cuts in defense spending on operational capabilities are also readily determined. In sum, reformatted budget planning enables policy makers to make informed decisions when considering the defense budget.

Integral to this framework are the Long Term Capability Planning System (LTCaPS) and Medium Term Capability Planning System (MedCaPS). LTCaPS is a system that determines strategic initiatives and guides defense capability development based on strategic assessment, broad capability intentions and capability options towards the finalization of a comprehensive national defense strategy. MedCaPS, which implements the first 6 years of LTCaPS, is a planning process that guides the DND and AFP in achieving its missions based on a six-year budget that spans fiscal years 2007 to 2012.

The MYDPS likewise intends to produce the Defense Strategic Policy Framework, which will serve as a guide for planning and strategy and would lead to the formulation of defense capability intentions and options that will serve as the basis for the formulation of the Long Term and the Medium Term Capability Development Plans.

 b.  Defense Planning Guidance

MYCaPS has already yielded the 6-year DPG that governs all defense budget proposals from fiscal year 2006 to 2011. The DPG presents a more rational and coherent framework for defense spending. It essentially channels limited resources in a collective manner to provide better distribution of needed support at the ground level.

The DPG frees up resources previously devoted to lower priority missions that can be used for areas needing immediate attention such as maintenance, training and operations. It enables defense planners to clearly know how much of the resources are being allocated for the key mission areas of the DND and AFP.

Through the MYDPS, effective planning will ensure that capabilities to be developed and equipment to be acquired are dictated by strategy, urgently-needed capabilities and available resources. Hence, the defense and military establishment will only acquire capabilities and procure equipment, materials and supplies that will contribute positively to the accomplishment of its missions under the priorities defined pursuant to specific strategies adopted. Through the DPG, the DND and AFP are able to manifest that in performing their mandate, they have been resolute in their will and deliberate in their means.

Being multi-year in nature, the MYDPS provides for continuity of capability plans and programs, as opposed to an annual capability development perspective. This contributes to a sustained and stable long-term perspective on the capability development, a 6-year rolling plan that is revisited each year.  

2.  Improvement of Intelligence, Operational and Training Capacity

         Program No. 2 focuses on the intelligence, operational and training concerns of the AFP. Through this Program, the backlog in training will be dealt with, particularly as regards training requirements for commanders, non-commissioned officers and military units. Emphasis will also be given to the development of doctrines, training and operations of joint forces involved in the utilization of land, maritime and air forces under a Unified Command. 

                        a.  Battalion Upgrade Program

         Consistent with the guidance provided under the DPG, 14 Battalions (12 Army Infantry and 2 Marine Battalions) will be fully-manned, equipped and re-trained each year starting in 2006. In 6 years, a total of 72 Army Infantry Battalions and 12 Marine Battalions will have benefited from the program. This will enable the AFP to effectively execute its plans and accomplish its goal by providing battalions in the field with suitable personnel, equipment and training that will give them the decisive advantage over the enemy.

           Each battalion for upgrade will be adequately manned with suitable personnel in accordance with the approved Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E).  Battalions for upgrade will have priority in selecting and acquiring from the pool of new Officers and Enlisted Personnel recruits in achieving the target personnel fill-up.

           Part of this effort will be the development of Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija into the AFP National Training Center (NTC). The DND and AFP also envision the development of regional training centers (RTCs) in the Visayas and Mindanao.

b.  Improving Survival Rate

This Program likewise seeks to enhance operational capability by providing soldiers in the frontlines with the ability to “stop the bleeding” and save lives. It has been documented that men and women in uniform usually die not because of combat operations themselves, but because of blood loss due to combat wounds. In view of this, the AFP seeks to strengthen its Field Medical Support System (FMSS) and improve survival rate through force protection, development of combat life support and medical evacuation capabilities and deployment of forward field hospitals. The establishment of the FMSS is an important commitment at improving the capability of the AFP to conduct operations with much confidence and success.

FMSS starts with additional Force Protection Equipment and appropriate doctrines that go with it. In the unfortunate event that soldiers get wounded in the frontlines, they would have the capability to become combat life-savers and provide on-site combat life support through Combat Life Support Training and Combat Life Saver Kits.

Medical Evacuation (MedEvac) is made available with helicopters equipped with Air Ambulance Kits and other services to stabilize the wounded soldiers while in flight. The AFP is constantly upgrading its Night-Flying Capability to increase the level of survivability among frontline troops and give them a fighting chance to survive should they be wounded in late afternoon or evening encounters.

To complement the MedEvac capability, mobile Forward Field Hospitals (Field Medics) would be engineered and put into service, allowing emergency trauma surgery to be performed in critical areas of operation. Once soldiers are stabilized, they can then be airlifted to the AFP Medical Center or a nearby general hospital where medical staff and more advanced equipment are ready to provide them additional medical attention. Beyond serving in battle, Field Medics can also be deployed in remote places to provide medical care in places devastated by calamities.

  The DND and AFP are committed to establish the FMSS to improve the survival rate of soldiers wounded in action. An incidental result of this effort is the enhanced confidence of the men and women in the frontlines to engage enemies in combat. With greater combat confidence among the troops, the goal of resolving internal security threats in the near term can become a reality.

  c.  Campaign against Terrorism

            In line with the campaign against terrorism, the Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG) was organized as the primary anti-terrorism strike force. It consists of three (3) Light Reaction Companies (LRCs), one (1) company from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Special Operations Wing (SPOW), one (1) company from the Philippine Navy (PN) Special Warfare Group (SWAG), one (1) section from the K-9 company and one (1) Explosives Ordnance and Demolition (EOD) company. The possibility of expanding counter-terrorism capability by making JSOG a template for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOCOM) is also being explored. In a larger scale, the Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) will serve as the template in the focused effort towards establishing jointness in our operations.

             In this connection, the defense and military establishment has also seized every opportunity to enhance the defense and security relations of the Philippines with its friends and allies in the face of the global scourge of terrorism. Through defense diplomacy, the Philippines has forged stronger ties with the United States, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Spain and ASEAN countries by conducting high level exchanges that focused on realizing the potential for enhanced international cooperation in the campaign against terrorism and the promotion of peace and stability in this part of the world.   

            Acknowledging the fact that terrorism knows no borders, the DND and AFP shall also pursue enhanced cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia in guarding common seas. The Coast Watch South maritime situational awareness initiative is being worked on to enhance sub-regional capability to monitor the transit of people in the Celebes, Sulu and Sulawesi seas.

              As the defense and military establishment reaches across borders in its campaign against terrorism, its leadership has also looked inward and promoted a whole-of-government approach against terrorism and other non-traditional security threats through enhanced inter-agency coordination and cooperation.

  d.  Enhancement of Intelligence Capability

            An important factor in the conduct of AFP operations is the quality of actionable information and intelligence received by its field units. The modernization of the AFP intelligence system is being carried out through the Philippine Intelligence Modernization System (PIMS). An assessment of the intelligence service is currently underway through the 10-year intelligence reform Roadmap known as Improvement and Revitalization of the Intelligence System (IRIS). A fully-funded program will be tailored on the basis of the results of the on-going assessment to improve intelligence capacity, certain salient features of which are significant improvements in intelligence collection and integration and the acquisition of multi-source and technology-based intelligence capability. 

3.   Improvement of Logistics Capacity

Program No. 3 aims to ensure logistical efficiency by enhancing operational readiness (OR) and reliability rates of all platforms and weapons systems being used by the AFP. Through this Program, the AFP shall raise the OR rates of key systems by increasing and reprioritizing funding, reducing personnel-to-platform imbalances, tapping available logistics expertise and providing basic and advance logistics training. 

This Program shall also create logistics efficiency in key AFP systems, and improve planned maintenance and maintenance procedures, supply chain management, automated supply management system, inventory controls and logistics training. Improvements shall also focus on key logistics functions such as procurement, stocking, inventory, transport, distribution, maintenance and disposal. All these enhancements will lead to the establishment of an Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS). 

The implementation of this Program shall ensure the prompt delivery of proper equipment and supplies with the right quality and quantity to the AFP operating units in order to increase the effectiveness of their operations. An improved logistics system will enhance mission-effectiveness due to its ability to re-supply and sustain field units. Enhancing OR rates will also result in a higher personnel-to-platform ratio. Significantly, with improved logistics management, processes and procedures, conversion of funds that gives rise to opportunities for graft and corruption will be a thing of the past. 

Among the early accomplishments of the AFP under this Program is the improvement in the operational readiness of the following platforms, among others: M35 Trucks; C-130 Cargo Planes and UH-1H Helicopters. Further, inventory controls have been improved to speed up the issuance and delivery of supplies in the frontlines. Meanwhile, PDR Logistics Teams (PDR-LTs) are already deployed to provide logistics training to field units. 

4.  Professional Development Program

          Program No. 4 endeavors to meet the needs of the DND and AFP in terms of institutional and individual competencies in various critical functions such as defense resource management, acquisition, multi-year budgeting, strategic planning and information management. The development of expertise and management skills shall be made in critical areas that directly impact the defense and military establishment’s capability to plan, support and execute effective operations. Operational level expertise in areas such as operations, intelligence, logistics, medical support, engineering and information operations shall likewise be enhanced. These core competencies and expertise are deemed necessary to keep systems, processes and procedures working at the strategic level and enhance war-fighting capability of the AFP at the operational level. 

To achieve the goal of functional expertise, the following interrelated program areas will be implemented: (1) Professional Military Education (PME); (2) Professional Enlisted Development (PED); (3) Staff Development; and (4) Quality Management. PME will address the need for a progressive Military Education System for the Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the AFP. PED will help prepare Enlisted Personnel in performing leadership roles and enable them to contribute meaningfully in the accomplishment of mission areas. Staff Development will improve technical expertise and allow functional processes to be responsive to the needs of the entire defense and military establishment. Quality Management, which entails the utilization of proper management tools, ensures that the DND and AFP would have appropriate management skills to steer programs and run the day-to-day activities and concerns.

          This Program will essentially support other PDR programs that require core competencies. These competencies shall be developed by providing the DND and AFP with SME Liaison Officers (LNOs), Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) and PDR-LTs. These experts shall interact and engage with DND personnel in various related activities to transfer professional and technical expertise. Seminars, workshops, symposia and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), such as exchange of visits that feature train-the-trainor programs, shall also be undertaken to further facilitate knowledge transfer under their respective fields of expertise. The building of expertise shall result in the creation of a core staff of strategic planners, defense analysts and defense resource managers.  

          To ensure that synergy of civilian and military talent occurs at all levels in defense management, the rationalization of the defense and military establishment is crucial in this regard. The on-going review and rationalization of the structure and organization of the DND paves the way for the recruitment of young professionals into the defense establishment through a competitive selection process. These fresh recruits shall undergo extensive and rigorous training in areas of needed expertise such as defense resource management, defense acquisition and strategic communication. Together, they shall comprise a professional civilian workforce that will occupy middle-level positions in the structures that are being put in place in the DND to run the systems that are being introduced through the PDR. 

5.  Improvement of Personnel Management System

          Program No. 5 seeks to fill the gaps in the current personnel management system by establishing an improved organizational structure that is responsive to defense requirements and missions. This will systematically provide and place personnel with correct expertise in the right job and position. This Program likewise seeks to stabilize leadership positions and senior officer movements, establish minimum tour lengths to ensure continuity of long-term programs and implement an approved Commercial Support Program for non-core military activities from commercial providers and contractors to cut personnel costs and ensure availability of officers and men for military tasks. 

Moreover, this Program will specifically address matters ranging from recruitment to retirement. Policies, guidelines, processes and procedures will be improved in the following areas, among others:

  • Recruitment and Attrition – recruitment, transition assistance, separation

  • Career Management – assignment, promotions and demotions, career paths, pattern progression; individual education and training, retirement

  • Morale and Welfare – performance evaluation; awards and decorations, family and health care

  • Discipline, Law & Order – military justice system, policy guidance, compliance and enforcement, Inspector General system

It is envisioned that right people will be manning all the DND offices and AFP units. For the AFP, this will be done by improving force structure analysis and by coming up with appropriate TO&E, Reservist Program and Commercial Support Program. A career development system for civilian employees will be established to arrive at an optimal complement of civilian-military staff that would competently support and carry out defense missions.

           To integrate these efforts, automation will be undertaken. This involves the establishment of two important database systems, the Manpower Management Information System (MMIS) and Personnel Management Information System (PMIS) that will provide ready information for personnel management analysis and decision-making. To harmonize these initiatives, the AFP will strengthen its military values, norms, customs, traditions and culture.

           The development of a comprehensive plan to strengthen the AFP Inspector General Service has also received high priority. This features the development of its scientific survey capability with the assistance of social science experts with extensive experience in conducting climate surveys, to determine and evaluate AFP perceptions and sentiments, which are vital to policy making.                     

6.  AFP Multi-Year Capability Upgrade Program

           Through the CUP, the AFP has refocused defense spending and identified needed resources to upgrade its Internal Security Operations (ISO) capabilities in areas such as mobility, firepower, communications, force protection and combat life support.

           With an upgraded ISO capability, the AFP will be in a better position to resolve internal security threats in the near term. The resolution of which is envisioned to enhance economic growth that will provide adequate resources to enable the AFP to embark on a real modernization program.

Consistent with MYCaPS, the CUP will focus on enhanced capabilities in the conduct of ISO for the first 6-year segment; the second 6-year period will serve as a transition phase from ISO capability build-up to territorial defense; and the third 6-years will focus on territorial defense and peacekeeping operations (PKO), thus completing the 18-year capability planning horizon.

a.  First 6-Years: Back to Basics

For the first 6-years under the CUP, the DND and AFP shall invest P5 Billion each year or a total of P30 Billion for the entire 6-year period. The first 6-year CUP focuses on critical areas such as mobility, firepower, communications, command and control, force protection and combat life support for individuals and units. Programmed for acquisition are basic equipment in support of ISO such as helicopters, trucks, patrol boats, rifles and radios. These equipment are prioritized into blocks costing an aggregate of P5 Billion for each block. The grouping of equipment into blocks is meant to enhance the absorptive capacity of the AFP in spending funds that will be provided under the enhanced revenue stream of the National Government. This also allows efficiency in implementation and frees the program from being unnecessarily time-bound.  

Procurement of these equipment have also been programmed to address the entire requirement of the AFP in order to simplify the procurement processes, ensure interoperability and take advantage of economies of scale. Each procurement shall also include an Integrated Logistics System (ILS) to address the added cost of maintaining these new equipment in the absence of additional funding under the annual AFP budget for maintenance, operation and other expenses (MOOE).

            b.  Second 6-Years: Transition to 1st-Level Modernization

       Premised on a significant improvement in the economy as a consequence of an improved security environment, the DND and AFP plan to invest P10 Billion each year for a total of P60 Billion for the second 6-year period to complete the basic capability upgrade and proceed with the 1st-level modernization geared towards meeting our basic requirements to address external security threats, to focus on the needs of the PAF and PN.

 

c.  Third 6-Years: Beginning of Real Modernization

 

For the third and last 6-year period, the DND and AFP are hoping for much improved economic conditions that will allow for an increase in defense investment of up to P20 Billion per year or a total of P120 Billion that will usher in the real modernization of the AFP and complete the 18-year capability planning cycle.

 

d.  Central Component: Battalion Upgrade Program

 

A central component of the first 6-year CUP is the Battalion Upgrade Program that will enable the AFP to effectively execute its plans and accomplish its goal. The Program shall provide battalions in the field with suitable personnel and much needed equipment and training that would give them a decisive advantage over the enemy. As previously mentioned, the AFP will adequately man, equip and train, 12 Army Battalions and 2 Marine Battalions every year for the next 6 years, starting in 2006, or a total of 72 Army and 12 Marine Battalions in 6 years.

 

In the TO&E for these battalions, mission-essential equipment have been identified including those for force protection, combat life-saving and night-fighting and are programmed for acquisition in time for the battalions’ respective retraining. Doctrines on ISO and counter-terrorism campaigns are also being validated for incorporation into the standard Programs of Instruction (POI).

 

In adequately equipping each battalion, acquisition of mission essential equipment based on the standard TO&E has already been programmed. The acquisition of these mission-essential equipment in accordance with the standard TO&E will upgrade our battalion’s key capabilities pertaining to firepower, mobility, communications, force protection and combat life support.

 

Under the standard TO&E, some examples of basic equipment that will be provided to each battalion for upgrade as well as their supporting units are the following:

 

§         For Firepower: Sniper rifles, M203 40mm grenade launchers, squad automatic weapons, mortars, rocket launchers, night capable attack helicopters, upgraded MD520MG helicopters, night fighting equipment. The upgrade of M16A1 to M16A2 rifles is also under consideration.

 

§         For Mobility: Trucks and troop carriers, upgraded Armored Personnel Carriers (M113) upgraded  light armored vehicles (V150), Landing Craft Utilities (LCU), Combat Rubber Inflatable Boats (CRIB), Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB), watercraft (platoon capacity), upgraded Patrol Killer Medium (PKM) vessels and additional UH-1H helicopters.

 

§         For Communications: Hand-held, man-pack, vehicle and base radios, scanners and repeaters, Fixed Communication System, Global Positioning System, compasses, maps, binoculars, computers, surveillance cameras and signal intelligence equipment.

§         For Force Protection and Combat Life Support: Body armor and helmets, medical equipment, combat life-saver kits, Field Medics and MedEvac.

 

                         7.  Improvement of Financial Controls

 

Program No. 7 seeks to meet the mission requirements of the AFP by introducing enhanced financial controls to optimize the defense budget and provide for adequate defense spending to meet operational demands. An important task under this Program is the creation of structures and systems for oversight to manage resources and requirements from planning to execution. This would allow the AFP to procure and maintain needed weapons systems and adequately fund essential combat support requirements such as proper training for its personnel. In this effort, the Defense Resource Management System (DRMS) is being established to plan, generate funds, undertake budgeting and monitor the implementation of defense capability program.

 

As previously stated, there is already a unified, strategy-driven budget under the DRMS through the DPG. The new budget format presents defense spending in a coherent and rational manner and shall be continually applied in the preparation of future DND and AFP budget proposals. Another initiative in this area is the de-linking of military retirement pay from the defense budget. This will result in additional headroom in the AFP budget to allow for more funds in support military operational requirements such as training and logistics.

 

Structures have also been streamlined to create efficiencies and provide management checks and balances. Strict fiscal policies and a responsive Internal Audit System (IAS) are currently being established to eliminate opportunities for waste and corruption resulting in more funds to meet the operational requirements of the AFP.

 

8.  Centrally-Managed Defense Acquisition System

 

Program No. 8 endeavors to improve the processes in the acquisition of defense requirements, a centrally-managed Defense Acquisition System (DAS) manned by a competent and professional workforce is in the process of being established in the DND.

 

The DAS is envisioned to have the capability for requirements generation, long-term planning, accountability, reporting and acquisition. It will also be capable of developing effective acquisition strategies and policies, as well as efficient processes and organizations. The DAS will also take full advantage of current developments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to speed up defense acquisition processes.

 

This Program aims to link the defense acquisition with defense strategy, resource management and budgeting. In this manner, waste will be minimized since capabilities and equipment that will be acquired are responsive to the real requirements of military operations.

 

To develop competence in acquisition, Program No. 8 is supported by the Professional Development Program. A professional and competent workforce will be developed through continuing education and training. With a new, responsive DAS, AFP operations will be properly supported and sustained. It will help prevent waste of resources and pave the way for more efficient provision of requirements to the AFP, particularly its field units.

 

While the DAS is being developed, efforts are already underway to promote professionalism, transparency and accountability in our bidding and acquisition processes. Non-government organizations and private groups have sent trained professionals who sit as observers to monitor the bidding process in the DND and AFP on a regular basis, as well as in the different stages of implementation of defense acquisition contracts to promote greater transparency.

 

9.  Development of Strategic Communication Capability

 

Program No. 9 seeks to fulfill the imperative of credible and effective communication by developing the Strategic Communication (StratCom) capability in the entire defense and military establishment. StratCom is a process and communication tool that harnesses various information-based capabilities to impact strategic goals. Appropriate StratCom doctrines, policies, capability-building programs, organization and staff will be harnessed in order to address the need for a more focused, coordinated, aggressive and systematic approach to information dissemination. It will be capable of delivering key themes and messages through words and deeds to various key audiences in support of DND and AFP institutional goals.

 

With consistent and credible words and deeds developed and delivered through StratCom, the entire defense and military establishment would be viewed in a positive light.  This will bolster public credibility of our institutions and elicit support for its goals. It will bring the AFP closer to the people and enable it to effectively accomplish its missions.  At the operational level, this Program seeks to enhance the capabilities and competence of our communication channels focused on varied audiences.  It will also improve the capability of the AFP engineering brigades in building roads, bridges and other basic infrastructure that will showcase a better alternative to the violent struggle being waged by the enemies of State in various parts of the country, particularly in the remote countryside. Our collective efforts shall enhance the socio-economic conditions in our communities and facilitate the entry of economic enterprises in erstwhile conflict areas to sustain the initial gains we have achieved.

 

Under a DND StratCom Service, this Program shall also bring about stronger partnership between the defense and military establishment and other government departments and agencies in a whole-of-government approach to address our internal security challenges. It shall engender a system that will enable DND to effectively coordinate and communicate with other government departments and agencies, civil society and international partners, and to identify and intensify particular programs and action plans supportive of our missions. Through this Program, the DND can adequately support the convergence of government efforts in addressing the root causes of our internal security challenges and the regional and global security concerns.

 

10.  Information Management Development Program

 

Through Program No. 10, an information management (IM) system that ensures that accurate information is being provided in a timely manner is currently under development. In the context of managing data and information, the need for the following has been recognized: (1) a common standard of technology to promote interoperability; (2) professional and competent IM staff; and (3) a strong ICT and IM-oriented leadership and organization.

 

Management of knowledge and information is vital in defense decision-making. Thus, capabilities in this critical functional area need enhancement if the defense and military establishment intends to harness its potentials to contribute to mission accomplishment.

 

This Program is formulated to develop an IM capability that utilizes appropriate tools to support and strengthen decision-making and mission accomplishment. A concrete result of this program is an IM system capable of managing the information resources of the defense establishment and developing and managing an integrated defense-wide information infrastructure. The former entails the establishment of a common strategic framework that would result in identification, management and sharing of information and ensures that the process of change addresses the “human side” or the concerns of the organization and its people. The latter involves databases that are interoperable and interrelated and provides a common standard of infrastructure in linking all the defense-wide systems. A common infrastructure will also ensure that systems are secure, interconnected and integrated.

 

The establishment of an IM system at the defense and military establishment will yield positive impact in the areas of information, processes and procedures, decision-making system and organization. With an IM system, accurate, reliable and secure information would be available anytime and anywhere. This kind of information system will be a valuable tool in the assessment, planning and implementation of future defense programs.

 

Through an IM system, manual processes and procedures will be automated, reducing the length of time required in doing a particular job. The impact of such a system on the defense decision-making is also immense. It will enable the decision-makers to promptly come up with decisions and eventually require less time to implement such policies. It will also pave the way for enhanced involvement of concerned people in the decision-making, creating more buy-in and ownership of policies and programs.

           

            With an IM system, a leaner organization will develop. This organization involves reduced personnel strength in the headquarters. As a result, more AFP personnel will be deployed in the field where they are actually needed. Such a system will also reduce personnel costs and create a personnel profile characterized by more knowledge or skilled workers who will play an important role in the information battlefield.

 

A significant development in the implementation of this program is the formulation of a roadmap to establish a defense-wide integrated system that includes a Command and Control System and a common information infrastructure that supports the development of the various Management Information Systems.

 

           

 


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