Gibo: AFP to redesign reserve force based on modern needs
Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. said his department is in the process of redesigning the military’s reserve force to boost the country’s credible deterrent posture and protect its interests.
At the culmination of the Armed Forces of the Philippines National Reservist Week on Saturday, the defense chief said the restructuring would be “based on the needs of the times and not based on old-dated paradigm or plans that may not be valid anymore” and should complement the military’s regular force.
Teodoro said the redesign would include harnessing various special skills, readiness to maintain critical functions during emergencies, and establishment of civil defense units that would serve as first responders when the military and reserve forces are deployed.
He also called on reservists to help formulate plans for the country’s strategic development. “This is a collaborative effort,” he said.
AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., meanwhile, said they were both giving attention to reserve and active force amid challenges that were “global in nature.”
“We want to develop our total force, which means the reserve force is not isolated from the active force, but we are one Armed Forces of the Philippines. When there are emergencies or threats that will happen to our country, we will all work together for the defense of the country and for the promotion of our national interest,” he told reporters.
Brawner said the Philippines could also take its cue from the Russia-Ukraine war where Ukrainian citizens have involved themselves in their country’s defense efforts.
“That is what we want to attain also in our country. That could be a long process but we have to start now and we have to develop that recognition, that appreciation of national defense in our country,” he said.
Brawner said the West Philippine Sea issue has been a “unifying factor” for Filipinos. “Because of that, we have been united to stand up for our nation because we only have one country and all of us have a stake in it,” he said. INQ