AFP Modernization Tackled During PCEDS-led RTD Ahead of Admin Change
By Mar Jensen L Arinto, Project Development Officer
As the entire country braces for a new regime, the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) hosted a roundtable discussion on matters surrounding the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held on 29 June 2022 at the NDCP Honor Hall.
Hosted by the Philippine Center of Excellence in Defense, Development, and Security (PCEDS), the activity gave scholars and practitioners an avenue to exchange ideas and recommendations on how the defense community could ensure the value and relevance of the AFP modernization program—a key effort in fortifying national security.
Mr Julio Amador III of the Amador Research Services, RAdm Rommel Jude G Ong AFP (Ret) of the Ateneo School of Government, and Col Niceforo Diaz Jr PA, MNSA of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans presented during the first session, which focused on how national interest, emerging threats, and future scenarios determine the essential capabilities of the AFP. Maj Philip O Ouano PAF and Mr David R LCruz of the Department of National Defense (DND), on one hand, served as discussants during the session.
The second session highlighted the utilization of existing financial, human capital, and material resources, as well as examined the technological advancement that the Philippine military could capitalize on. To get a full picture of the issue, Ms Belinda B Cayapan, MNSA of the DND, Dr Francis Rico C Domingo of De La Salle University (DLSU), and Mr Rino Francisco of the Philippine Coast Guard served as presenters, while Ms Mitch A Abdon, MNSA of the World Bank was the discussant for the session.
For the last part of the roundtable discussion, the presenters, Mr Alwin Cajandab of the House of Representatives, Dr Renato C De Castro and Dr Sherwin E Ona of DLSU delved into concerted efforts to push the modernization agenda of the AFP forward.
Meanwhile, in his closing remarks, BGen Archimedes H Viaje AFP (Ret), PhD, MNSA, CESE, President of the NDCP, underscored that the PCEDS-led activity is an initiative of the College’s bureaucratic mission to plan and prepare policy recommendations to the incoming officials of the DND, AFP, as well as the Commander-in-Chief. “It is by this discussion that we recognize the various internal and external factors that affect the success and shortcomings of the AFP Modernization Act,” BGen Viaje added.
Note: Speakers and discussants participated in this activity not as official representatives of their institutions or agencies.