(ABS-CBN) Pasado na sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang panukalang batas para sa fixed term ng Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff at ilan pang opisyal.
Sa inaprubahang Senate version, ibinalik sa 56 years old ang retirement age maliban sa Chief of Staff at commanding generals ng tatlong major services and superintendent ng Philippine Military Academy (PMA), kung saan naman magreretiro kapag natapos na ang termino o kung sibakin ng pangulo.
Mula sa fixed term ng 14 key officers sa ilalim ng RA 1170, sa inaprubahang panukala ay ibinaba na lamang ito sa 5 key officers kabilang dito ang tatlong taon para sa AFP Chief of Staff; dalawang taon sa commanding general ng major services; at PMA superintendent.
“I hope that this measure will usher improved morale for our soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It sends a clear message that this Senate, their Senate, is one with our gallant soldiers and heroes as they perform their noble duty of protecting and defending our beloved country against aggressors and enemies. Andito po ang inyong Senado para alalayan kayo sa bawat laban na inyong kakaharapin. This bill will also provide the AFP with the flexibility, stability and dynamism to adequately adapt and respond to the demands of the uncertain times,” ani Senador Jinggoy Estrada.
Si Estrada ang principal author at sponsor ng SB 1849 o An Act Amending RA 11709 otherwise known as “An Act Strengthening Professionalism and Promoting the Continuity of Policies and Modernization Initiatives of the AFP by Prescribing Fixed Terms for Key Officers Thereof Increasing the Mandatory Retirement Age of Generals/ Flag Officers, Providing for a More Effective Attrition System, and Providing Funds Therefor”.
Ang vice chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, unified command commanders, at inspector general ay aalisin na sa may 3-year fixed term.
Para mag eligible naman sa appointment o promotion sa pagiging brigadier general o commodore o mas mataas na pwesto, dapat may nalalabing isang taon pa sa serbisyo ang opisyal bago ang compulsory retirement.
Ginawa ito para matigil ang “photo finish” promotions ng generals at flag officers na kahit ilang buwan na lang sa serbisyo ay napopromote pa.
“We are still fostering the continuity of policies for the officers with a maximum tour of duty but at the same time affording the subsequent commission classes a fair and equitable opportunity to compete for promotions to these positions As I said in my sponsorship speech, I am not against attrition. I believe that weeding out non-performers and lame ducks in the organization is crucial, if not at the heart of ensuring professionalism and maintaining only the best and the brightest, the cream of the crop in the AFP,” ani Estrada.
Inaasahang magtatakda na ng bicameral conference committee meeting ang senado at kamara para pag-isahin ang bersyon ng panukala.