Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
April 4, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the 120th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army (PA) held at the PA Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

“Your primordial duty to serve the country…gives assurance to our people to live in peace and stability,” said the President as he recognized the acts of courage and bravery of the country’s armed forces at the beginning of his keynote speech.

He guaranteed the Philippine Army that the administration would provide them with the necessary training equipment and benefits prior to their actual deployment. As part of government’s modernization program for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the military will be given telecommunications apparatus, firepower, and infantry fighting vehicles, particularly for the army.

“These are among the priority initiatives we immediately undertook when I assumed the Presidency in July last year,” President Duterte said, adding that government has allocated PhP 6.5 billion for PA projects under the revised AFP Modernization Plan.

Additionally, the Commander-in-Chief mentioned that on September 2016, he signed an Executive Order to increase the combat pays of all the AFP members. He also tapped the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the proposed compensation adjustment in increasing the base and hazard pays of all military personnel.

The President also gave directives to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to review the housing loan program that will complement the soldiers’ ability to pay.

With the administration’s drive to fight the illegal drug trade, President Duterte expressed his confidence to the army’s continuous assistance. “This is a serious call, not only for you but to all Filipinos, including your loved ones… Without you, our government will not be able to eradicate the ills of society that have been crippling our development for a long time,” he ended.

Also present were Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, and PA Commanding General (CG) Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda.

* * *