A. IMPLEMENTING THE PHILIPPINE DEFENSE REFORM (PDR) PROGRAM
1. A Comprehensive and Lasting Reform Agenda for the DND and AFP
a. Institutional and Strategic Improvements
Institutional and strategic improvements in the
defense and military establishment are the core of the government's security
campaign. The DND and AFP have embarked on a comprehensive program to
re-engineer its systems and retool its personnel. These efforts are geared
towards promoting cost-effectiveness and efficiency, and sustaining a long-term
balance among the following, within specified financial limits: (1) forces and
personnel (structure); (2) equipment, systems and facilities (investment); and
(3) training operations, stocks, facilities, utilization, sustainment (readiness
A thorough assessment of the defense and military establishment that gained impetus and sustained focus under the direction of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was completed in 2003. This assessment has resulted in the formulation of the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) Program. The PDR provides the framework for introducing a comprehensive reform package at the strategic level for the defense and military establishment.
b. Promoting the Welfare and Benefits of Soldiers
While instituting comprehensive and institutional reforms and improvements at the strategic level under the PDR, the DND and the AFP will place particular emphasis in promoting the welfare of soldiers and improving their benefits. The DND and the AFP will also continue the implementation of specific recommendation of the Feliciano and Davide Commissions.
To be sure, the PDR will serve as the framework for comprehensive, strategic and systematic reforms that will address the causes of the grievances outlined in the reports of the Feliciano and Davide Commissions. However, specific recommendations that can be implemented in the short term must be carried out by the DND and the AFP without awaiting the impact of the comprehensive, strategic and systematic reforms under the PDR.
The DND and the AFP will seek to promote the welfare of soldiers through various programs designed to provide better benefits and services to soldiers, which will include, among others: (1) off-base and on-base housing program; (2) improved AFP medical services; (3) rationalization of the AFP retirement fund and funding pension benefits; (4) development of combat lifesaving capability; 95) development of medical evacuation capability; (6) allocation of benefits to the families of soldiers killed-in-action; (7) establishment of an effective grievance mechanism; and (8) scholarships and tuition fee discounts for soldiers and their dependents.
The implementation of the specific recommendations of the Feliciano and Davide Commissions and other programs designed to promote the welfare of soldiers will continue to be monitored periodically.
c. Institutionalizing Improvements through a new National Defense Act
To institutionalize the reforms to be undertaken, it is imperative that a new National Defense Act be enacted to update the National Defense Act (Commonwealth Act 1) that was enacted in 1935. The DND and the AFP will draft a bill to be submitted to Congress that will embody and codify the strategic, institutional and systematic reforms to be made within the DND and the AFP under the PDR, as well as other needed improvements in the DND and the AFP.
2. Ten (10) Key Areas of Improvement under the PDR
Under the PDR, ten key areas of improvement will receive sustained focus:
At present, programs of action and milestones are being developed focusing on the ten key areas of improvement. The programs of action and milestone are not stand-alone programs. Rather they are inherently linked in terms of urgency, achievability and impact on the AFP mission. Their focus will be to enhance capabilities from a systemic and strategic perspective. The implementation of these programs of action will be monitored and evaluated on the basis of previously identified milestones.
a. Multi-Year Defense Planning System (MYDPS)
The first program of action under the MYDPS is the implementation of the Multi-Year Capability Planning System (MYCaPS). Under the MYCaPS, Defense resource Management will be undertaken through the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS). The Long-term Capability Planning System (LTCaPS) and Mid-Term Capability Planning System (MidCaPS) comprise the MYCaPS). MYCaPS will yield a three tier DND and AFP capability plan covering a 6-year, 12-year and 18-year horizon that outlines specific strategies, defined objectives, needed capabilities and identified resources to be provided under anticipated financial limits. MYCaPS features milestones and systems for net assessments to determine progress in meeting defined objectives.
b. Improvement of Operational and Training Capacity of the AFP
Improvement of operational and training capability of the AFP enjoys a high priority in the comprehensive reform agenda for the AFP under the PDR. The backlog of basic training for the AFP will also be addressed focusing on training for commanders, noncommissioned officers and units. Emphasis will also be given to the development of doctrines, training and operations of joint forces that involve the utilization of land, maritime and air forces under a unified command.
c. Improvement of Logistic Capacity
Improvement of logistics capacity involves the enhancement of operational readiness and reliability rates for all platforms and weapons systems, as well as the logistics efficiency of key AFP systems. This will entail improvements in planned maintenance and maintenance procedures, supply chain management, automated supply management system, inventory controls and logistics training.
d. Staff Development Program
The Staff Development Program of the DND and AFP shall include the development of expertise and management skills in the DND and AFP in critical areas or functions that directly impact on the AFP's capability to plan, support and execute effective operations.
e. Personnel Management System
The program of action for the improvement of the AFP Management System shall include the following: (1) review and evaluation of AFP personnel policies and personnel management systems; (2) realignment of force structure to address strategy, threat and missions; (3) reduction of personnel costs; and (4) automation of the personnel management information system.
f. Planning, programming and execution of a Multi-Year Capacity Upgrade Program for the AFP
Planning, programming and execution of a multiyear upgrade program for the AFP will be done under the MYDPS. From the MYCaPS developed under the MYDPS will emerge a three tier multiyear capability upgrade program covering a 6-year, 12-year and 18-year horizon. For the mid-term, the 6-year AFP Capability Upgrade Program for the AFP will focus on the basis requirements of the AFP to improve its capabilities in fulfilling its missions in pursuit of its internal security operations.
g. Optimization of the defense budget and improving management controls
Another product of the MYDPS will be the establishment of a multiyear defense budget that will include the allocation of budgets to address military operational requirements (e.g. operations and maintenance, training, recapitalization and upgrading of military assets). This will feature needed improvements in the planning, budgeting and requirements generation systems of the DND and the AFP and the creation of structures and systems for oversight within the DND and the AFP Major Services to manage resources and requirements from planning to execution.
h. Creation of a professional acquisition workforce and establishment of a centrally managed defense acquisition system
A defense acquisition system will be established in the DND and the AFP manned by a professional acquisition workforce capable of requirements generation, planning, accountability, reporting and acquisition. The defense acquisition system will be capable of evolving effective acquisition strategies, and policies as well as efficient processes and organizations. In preparation for the transition, the DND and AFP shall establish mechanisms and structures that will serve as precursors for the establishment of a defense acquisition system.
i. Enhancement of the AFP capability to conduct Civil Military Operations
To diminish the underlying socio-economic conditions and spur development in the countryside, the DND and AFP shall support the construction of "Affirmative Action Roads" that will facilitate economic dispersion in conflict areas. As additional affirmative actions, the DND and AFP will also encourage government departments and agencies to identify and intensify particular programs and action plans that support the counter-insurgency campaign funded under their corresponding budgets. The DND will also support the enhancement of convergence of government efforts at addressing the root causes of the insurgency.
j. Information Management Development Program
Information management shall support and enhance the decision-making system of the DND and AFP through management of information, information systems and technologies. It aims to establish an enterprise information system that efficiently facilitates the flow of information and knowledge, and that enhances information-sharing while assuring security and relevance, in order to ensure right decisions. Two important steps in this undertaking will be establishing an effective strategic framework; and, assuring that information being used is interoperable, interrelated, timely, available, secure, and that operations, systems and technology are addressed and conform to the existing standards.
Over the next six years, government has committed to provide required funding to ensure the full implementation of the PDR program.