Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he will continue to push for the military’s modernization and measures to improve its personnel management in the remaining months of the Duterte administration.
“In the remaining 11 months in this administration, we will push for the continued modernization of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), enactment of laws to improve the personnel management of the AFP and focus on the other priorities we set for ourselves when we assumed our posts back in 2016,” Lorenzana said late Monday night.
Inspired by the overwhelming support from the President, Lorenzana said his agency will spare no effort in fulfilling its mandate to secure the country and contribute to national development.
“At the DND, we are grateful for the enduring support of the President for the improvement of the welfare and capabilities of the AFP when he increased the salaries of the soldiers. We are thankful for his leadership and direction to end the local communist insurgency, the provision of benefits for rebel returnees, and the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law that would address the grievances of our Muslim brothers,” Lorenzana said.
While taking pride in accomplishments during the past five years, the DND chief said that there is still a lot of work to be done before Duterte’s term ends.
“In this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), we at the DND were reminded once again that everything we do is for the benefit of the Filipino people. Speaking from the heart in his own, simple and inimitable way, the President showed that even as we aim and work for grandiose goals for our country, at the core of it all is protecting and upholding the dignity of every Filipino from all walks of life,” Lorenzana added.
In his final SONA at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, Duterte said strengthening the capability of the country’s military and police has always been a priority under his administration.
In 2018, Duterte said the salaries of military and uniformed policemen and personnel were raised to a level that is “commensurate to the critical role they play in upholding national security and maintaining order”.
Under his term, the country’s defense capability also got a boost with the acquisition of two missile frigates — the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna.