Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is committed into transforming the agency into a credible organization capable of ensuring Philippine security, sovereignty and territorial integrity. This was one of the official command guidance issued by Lorenzana, said DND public affairs service head Arsenio Andolong.
Also included was ongoing efforts to transform the DND into reliable partner in national development, and a strategic player in the Asia Pacific region.
“In terms of territorial defense, the SND’s (Secretary of National Defense) guidance is for the improvement of DND’s capabilities to perform its mandated tasks and fully support other government agencies to address the challenges posed by the complex and dynamic security environment,” Andolong said.
In addition, defense cooperation with ASEAN and other key allies was identified as critical to stability and progress of the region and protection of a rules based international order.
On internal security and peace operations, Lorenzana has ordered the DND to relentlessly focus military operations against terrorist groups and intensify its support to law enforcement agencies.
At the same time, it shall remain supportive of the peace process, especially in the implementation of signed and future peace agreements.
“The AFP shall also continue to uphold and adhere to the principle of human rights, international humanitarian law and rule of law in the performance of its assigned tasks,” Andolong said.
“The AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan ‘Bayanihan’ which is coming to a close this 2016 will be assessed in relation to the AFP transformation Roadmap with the goal of strengthening the professional character of the military institution,” he added.
Lorenzana also ordered that the AFP Modernization Program will continue with the DND expediting acquisition activities on the pipeline and prioritize acquisition projects intended to enhance internal security operations capability.
“In line with the decision of President Duterte to convert the BRP Ang Pangulo into a hospital and the utilization of air assets of the 250th, Presidential Airlift Wing, the AFP has been directed to submit proposals and prepare other requirements,” the DND chief disclosed.
The DND will also continue to improve capacities of selected AFP units for their roles as first responders and improve coordination with other agencies and non-government organizations in line with their humanitarian assistance disaster relief missions.
“Secretary Lorenzana also provided for the enhancement of support services for soldiers and veterans with the planned creation of an office that shall cater to the welfare of deceased soldiers in order to fast track the release of benefits to their dependents,” Andolong pointed.
He added that the DND chief also also emphasized good governance, the importance of the comprehensive Philippine Defense Transformation Roadmap that institutionalizes the proper stewardship of public funds as well as reform programs that eliminate opportunities for graft and corruption.