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MANILA, Philippines -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines is looking to strengthen and tap its reserve force for territorial defense in its internal peace and security campaign and as responders during disasters.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa called for a strategic review of the AFP Reserve Force Development Program to synchronize the active and reserve forces.
In a speech delivered at the closing ceremony of the Regional Reservist Convention in Bohol marking the culmination of the 33rd National Reservist Week Celebration, Dellosa said the priority is to make community-based reservists the backbone of AFP’s first responders in the event of calamities and natural disasters.
“The current trend is to mainstream the Reserve Force not only for operational efficiency but also to enable the AFP to tap into valuable human capital for administrative enhancement programs in line with our security sector reform efforts,” Dellosa said.
Citing "improved" security conditions in Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, Dellosa cited the need the AFP Reserve Force to take a more "organized and active role" in territorial defense and humanitarian response.
"We should not solely rely on our active force component to perform territorial functions as our battalions are primarily tactical maneuver units that our commanders can re-deploy for force projection or mass forces in priority areas,” Dellosa said.
He also cited that the expertise and skills of technicians, managers and professionals could be a source of innovation for the AFP’s reform initiatives.
AFPRESCOM chief Brig. Gen. Lito Tabangcura retired from the military service last week and has been replaced by Colonel Quirino Calonzo, formerly assistant chief of staff for Reservist and Reserve Force Development of the Philippine Army, and chief of staff of the Army Reserve Command.