AFP to fix delays in promotions in ‘bloated’ officers corps
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said that they will put forward a proposal that seeks to revise the military’s authorized troop strength (ATS) amid the delays of promotion among officers, especially in the Army, the military’s largest branch of service.
“We are already correcting this. We are proposing some sort of modification of the ATS to address the problem. We have also directed the Army to really implement the attrition program,” he said at a budget hearing at the House of Representatives last week.
The AFP chief was responding to the concern raised by Rep. Gary Alejano on the distribution of officers among the services and the delays of promotions in the Army due to a “bloated officer corps.”
Galvez explained that the other branches of service like the Air Force had “natural attrition” as some of its officers opt for early retirement and eventually transfer to commercial airlines. He acknowledged the “disparity” in the Army because of the “limited” slots for promotion.
He said that some of the members of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1993 of the Air Force were already occupying (O-7) one-star positions, while their Army counterparts were still holding Lieutenant Colonel ranks.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana likewise admitted that was aware of the “big discrepancy” in the promotion system among the services.
“I think I saw this problem this morning. I’ve been to the promotion of four Lieutenant Colonels. Yung tatlo took them 7 years and nine months to be promoted from Major. Yung isa five years lang. There is a big discrepancy. Yung na-promote na mabilis ay Air Force, yung the rest ay Army. So tama ang comment ni Cong. Alejano,” he said.
Based on the staffing summary of fiscal year 2019 presented by Lorenzana, the military will allocate a budget for 145,957 uniformed personnel (98,394 for Army; 19,072 for Air Force; 25,260 for Navy; and 3,231 for General Headquarters). For the Army, 7,681 are officers while 88,474 are enlisted personnel. /cbb
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