President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed into law a bill that amends provisions of the tour of duty and appointment of top military officials.
Republic Act No. 11939, or An Act Further Strengthening Professionalism and Promoting the Continuity of Policies and Modernization Initiatives in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), amends RA No. 11709, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in May last year.
Under the new law, the commanding generals of the Philippine Army and the Philippine Air Force, the flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy, and the superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy will have a maximum tour of duty of two consecutive years, which will begin on the date the appointment is signed, unless sooner terminated by the President.
These officials will not be eligible for any position in the AFP unless promoted to the position of chief of staff.
In the law signed by Duterte, chiefs of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force were given a fixed three-year term while the PMA superintendent was given a tour of duty of four years.
The AFP chief of staff will still have a maximum tour of duty of three consecutive years, which will begin on the date the appointment is signed, unless sooner terminated by the President.
The following officers shall be compulsory retired:
Those in the military ranks of second lieutenant/ensign (O-1) to lieutenant general/vice admiral (O-9), upon reaching the age of 57 or upon accumulation of 30 years of satisfactory active duty, whichever comes later; and the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, upon completion of the tour of duty or upon relief by the President; those occupying a key position under Section 2 (b) of the act, upon completion of the tour of duty, or upon relief by the President; and those commissioned under Presidential Decree No. 1908, and those appointed in the Corps of Professors upon reaching the age of 60 or completion of 20 years of satisfactory active duty, whichever comes later.
The new law also mandates that an enlisted personnel will be compulsory retired upon accumulation of at least 30 years of satisfactory active duty or upon reaching the age of 57, whichever comes later.
It also states the maximum tenure of officers in the grades of general/flag officer in the AFP; general/admiral (O-10) – three years, lieutenant general/vice admiral (O-9) – three years, major general/rear admiral (O-8) – three years and brigadier general/commodore (O-7) – five years
The maximum tenure of officers in the grades of colonel, lieutenant colonel, major and captain are hereby prescribed as follows: colonel/captain (PN) (O-6) – 10 years, lieutenant colonel/commander (PN) (O-5) – seven years, major/lieutenant commander (PN) (O-4) – six years, and captain/lieutenant (PN) (O-3) – six years
The provisions of the new law also apply to the officers and enlisted personnel appointed or promoted under RA No. 11709 as well as other pertinent laws.
The Department of National Defense is tasked to formulate the necessary rules and regulations of this newly-signed law.
The AFP welcomed the approval of the new law.
“The AFP welcomes President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s approval of RA 11939, which provides the much-needed amendments to RA 11709,” Col. Medel Aguilar, AFP spokesperson, said in a statement.
“We believe that the changes will further strengthen professionalism in the military and ensure the continuity of programs while maintaining the AFP’s dynamic and progressive promotion system,” he added. — Charles Dantes and Vince Lopez
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