FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — President Rodrigo Duterte has assured the new officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the “Alagad ng Lahing Binigkis ng Tapang at Lakas” (Alab Tala) class of 2018, a good pay as they join the different branches of the military service.
In his speech during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation on Sunday (March 18), Duterte said the government is now ready for the final wave of the 15-year modernization program for the AFP. Included in the modernization program is the upgrading of salaries of men in uniform.
“We are now ready to implement the second horizon of the revised AFP modernization program to boost our military capabilities. Among our priority project includes giving the best benefits to our men and women in the Armed Forces from their uniforms, allowance, and salary,” Duterte said.
The President said, “our men and women in uniform will be provided with the best benefit, arms, and equipment to perform their duty effectively.”
The AFP modernization program started during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos, which aims to upgrade the capability and equipment of the Philippine Air Force, the Navy, and the Army, to enable them to perform their duties. It has an initial budget of P50 million for the first five years.
“We have addressed the problem of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and these problems are now decreasing. Soon it will not exist in the next seven to 10 years,” he said.
“As you start your young career to serve God and your country, you will receive the best pay in the AFP. Just do your job and I will take care of you,” Duterte stressed.
On the stage, Duterte took the chance to talk to the graduates as they received their diplomas.
In the President’s message, he told members of the class to “remember always the three words that have been ingrained deeply in your heart — courage, integrity, and loyalty.”
“Embody these words and use them to guide your actions throughout your careers,” he added.
He urged them to continue being good to the service.
The Alab Tala class is composed of 282 graduates — 207 male, 75 female with ages from 20 to 27. They came from different regions of the country but 45 of them are Cordillerans; 30 from Region 4-A; 28 from Region 3; 24 from NCR, 22 from Regions 10 and 1; 21 from Region 2; 16 from Region 9; and the others spread out in other regions.
In the class profile, it shows that a number of them were fresh from high school, some at the college level and a few are college graduates. (RONDA Balita Online News)