January 12, 2024 (Quezon City) – Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. led the traditional joint New Year’s Call of the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held in Camp Aguinaldo today, marking the start of the working year.
In his message, Secretary Teodoro said that transforming the whole defense department, with its civilian bureaus and the AFP, will carry on in the new year.
“We thank the whole defense family for the cooperation that they have shown last year in the midst of our attempts to transform our organization into a new defense organization with new skills, new paradigms, and new capabilities,” the Defense Chief said. “We shall continue that effort this year and we hope that we have the same unconditional cooperation from each and every one of you.”
“I am really gratified because we have the unconditional support of our commander-in-chief, his excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.,” Secretary Teodoro added, encouraging members of the defense establishment to stay united. “We shall be blessed because we are one, we are united, and we cannot be divided because we have a mission.”
The mission, according to the Secretary, is “to preserve and protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines; maintain peace and order; work together with allies to make, not only the Philippines, but this region – the Indo-Pacific Region – and the world a better place to be in.”
For his part, AFP Chief of Staff General Romeo S Brawner Jr shared that for 2024, the military organization will focus on the continuous development of materiel and capabilities through the AFP Modernization Program. General Brawner added that the AFP will also prioritize the organizational development of its reserve force.
“It is through these transformative efforts that we aim to elevate our military capabilities across all dimensions. The new year marks the genesis of a more dedicated, professional and modernized Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the AFP Chief of Staff said.
The traditional New Year's Call was attended by DND officials, AFP generals and flag officers, Foreign Armed Forces Attachés, other officers and enlisted personnel, and members of the civilian human resource of the defense organization.