ASSUMPTION SPEECH OF LTGEN NOEL A COBALLES AFP
COMMANDING GENERAL, PHILIPPINE ARMY
22 JANUARY 2012
I WOULD HAVE NOT REACHED THIS FAR WITHOUT THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IN ME AND FROM WHOM I GATHERED MY WISDOM, STRENGTH AND COMPELLING RESOLVE AS A PUBLIC SERVANT.
TRULY, WHEN WE DELIGHT OURSELVES IN THE LORD, HE GIVES US THE DESIRES OF OUR HEART… TODAY, I BRING BACK THE GLORY TO GOD. I THANK GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE HIM THROUGH SERVING OUR COUNTRY AND PEOPLE.
THIS POSITION IS NOT SOMETHING THAT I WOULD REACH WITHOUT THE PEOPLE WHO, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, HAVE SUSTAINED, GUIDED, AND INSPIRED ME THROUGH THE YEARS. ALLOW ME THEN TO EXPRESS MY WHOLE HEARTED GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO THOSE WHO WERE INSTRUMENTAL TO WHERE I AM TODAY.
TO OUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III, MY SINCEREST AND HEARTFELT GRATITUDE FOR BELIEVING THAT I CAN LEAD THE PHILIPPINE ARMY.
TO THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, HONORABLE VOLTAIRE T GAZMIN, WHOM I PERSONALLY REGARD AS MY MENTOR, AND WHO IS LOOKED UPON AS A TRUE CHAMPION OF THE SOLDIERS.
GEN JESSIE D DELLOSA, OUR FORMER AFP CHIEF OF STAFF – I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH THE BROTHERLY ADVICES THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.
LTGEN EMMANUEL T BAUTISTA AFP, OUR NEWLY APPOINTED AFP CHIEF OF STAFF – YOUR EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP AND WISDOM SHALL BE AN INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US.
TO MY WIFE, LORNA WHOSE LOVE AND SUPPORT COMPLETES ME DESPITE MY SHORTCOMINGS. TO MY 4 LOVELY DAUGHTERS, SUE ANN, CAROLYN, MAE ANN AND MARIA ALEXIS – WHO ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE AND WHO ARE MY NUMBER 1 FANS.
TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE PHILIPPINE ARMY CHIEF IS AN HONOR; BUT WITH IT COMES THE CHALLENGE. I WOULD ADMIT THAT THIS IS A VERY DELICATE TIME TO BE THE COMMANDING GENERAL, PHILIPPINE ARMY. ESPECIALLY NOW, THAT THE MIDTERM ELECTION IS FAST APPROACHING.
FOUNDATIONS HAVE BEEN LAID FOR THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP; THE AFP’S INTERNAL PEACE AND SECURITY PLAN “BAYANIHAN” IS NOW STRONGLY FELT BY THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AS WE HAVE ESTABLISHED AND IS CONTINUALLY ESTABLISHING PARTNERSHIP WITH INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEADERS AND VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS; WE HAVE REACHED A LANDMARK ON THE PEACE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT IN OUR INTENT TO END ECONOMIC AND SECURITY INSTABILITY IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES. ALL OF THESE ENDEAVORS, I TAKE THE SHARE OF RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PURSUIT OF MAKING OUR ASPIRATIONS A REALITY.
IN LINE WITH THE DIRECTION SET BY MY PREDECESSOR, NOW THE AFP CHIEF OF STAFF, AND OTHER FORMER ARMY COMMANDERS, I SHALL ENSURE THE CONTINUITY OF THE INITIATIVES THAT THEY HAVE PUT IN PLACE AND PURSUED WITH EARNEST COMMITMENT. WITH THIS, I URGE EVERYONE TO HELP ME LEAD AN ARMY WORTHY OF OUR COUNTRYMEN’S TRUST.
IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF THAT PHILIPPINE ARMY THRIVE ON EXCELLENCE AS WE RELENTLESSLY PERFORM OUR MANDATE TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE. WITH THIS, MY LEADERSHIP WILL CONTINUE ON PURSUING THE COLLECTIVE VISION OF A FORMIDABLE PHILIPPINE ARMY – A WORLD-CLASS ARMY THAT IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE.
I SHALL ENDEAVOR TO DIRECT THE COURSE OF THE ARMY THAT IS FOCUSED ON ACHIEVING RESULTS. EVERYONE SHOULD BE PART OF THE TEAM – EVERYONE MUST DO THEIR SHARE – EVERYONE MUST ACT WITH URGENCY. THE FILIPINO PEOPLE EXPECT THAT EVERY ARMY MAN AND WOMAN MUST STRIVE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR RESPECTIVE JOBS, HONORABLY, MORALLY, AND IN THE RIGHT WAY; FOR THAT WE MUST NEVER FAIL THEIR EXPECTATIONS.
I HAVE SPENT MOST OF MY MILITARY CAREER IN THE FIELD. I KNOW THAT OUR GROUND FORCES ARE GIVEN COMFORT THROUGH THE SUPPORT PROVIDED TO THEM; IT FUELS THEIR PASSION AND WILL TO STAND FIRMLY AMIDST THE RIGORS AND ADVERSITIES IN THE FRONTLINES; IT GIVES THEM STRENGTH TO UPHOLD THEIR SWORN MANDATE.
IT IS MY DESIRE THAT EACH SOLDIER – EVEN THE LOWEST PRIVATE IN THE REMOTEST DETACHMENT IS AWARE THAT THE PHILIPPINE ARMY WILL TAKE CARE OF HIM WHILE HE TAKES CARE OF THE COUNTRY’S PEACE AND SECURITY. I WILL TAKE PRIDE TO LEAD AN ARMY THAT GIVES PRIMORDIAL IMPORTANCE ON EACH SOLDIER’S CAPABILITIES THROUGH TRAINING, FORCE DEVELOPMENT, BOTH FOR HUMAN RESOURCE GROWTH AND LOGISTICAL EQUIPAGE, RE-STUDY OF COMBAT SOPS/TTPS AND RULES OF ENGAGEMENTS AND OTHER MEANS TO INCREASE THE READINESS REQUIREMENTS OF OUR TROOPS.
ILAN SA MGA NAIS NATING GAWIN AY – PALALAKASIN NATIN ANG ATING NON-COMMISIONED OFFICERS (NCOs) ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY KASAMA NA DITO ANG LEADERSHIP; ANG KAKAYANAN NA MAG-ABSORB, HUMANAP AT TUMANGGAP NG RESPONSIBILIDAD; KASUNOD NITO ANG KAKAYAHANG MANGASIWA NG TAMA UPANG MAISAKATUPARAN NG ATING MGA UNIT ANG KANILANG MISYON NG MAAYOS AT EPEKTIBO LALO NA YONG MGA NASA FRONTLINE. KAILANGAN ANG MGA ITO DAHIL ANG MGA NCOs ANG BACKBONE NG ATING HUKBO.
SISIKAPIN NATIN NA SA HANAY PA LANG NG INDIBIDUAL NA SUNDALO AY MAY KAPABILIDAD NA SILA NA MAGBIGAY NG PAUNANG LUNAS SA MGA SUGATAN. SISIGURADUHIN NATIN NA ANG ATING MGA SUNDALONG MASUSUGATAN AY MAY MAPUPUNTAHANG ARMY HOSPITAL NA KUMPLETO ANG GAMIT AT SERBISYO. PAG-AARALAN NATIN ANG SISTEMA NG SERBISYO PARA SA MGA NAULILA NG MGA YUMAONG SUNDALO UPANG MABILIS NA MAIBIGAY ANG MGA KAUKULANG BENEPISYONG LAAN SA KANI-KANILANG MGA PAMILYA.
THESE, I FIRMLY BELIEVE, WILL GREATLY INCREASE THE SURVIVABILITY AND BOOST THE MORALE OF OUR SOLDIERS; STRENGTHEN PROFESSIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM AMONG OUR RANKS.
TODAY, I DO NOT INTEND TO ELABORATE ON THE KIND OF COMMANDER I WILL BE. MY CAREER PROFILE, CHARACTER AND SERVICE RECORDS SHOW WHAT KIND OF SOLDIER I AM. TODAY, AS I SPEAK IN FRONT OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY, I BELIEVE IT IS IMPERATIVE AND MORE IMPORTANT TO REINVIGORATE THE PATRIOTIC ZEAL IN EVERY FILIPINO SOLDIER.
NANANALAYTAY SA BAWAT DUGO NG SUNDALONG PILIPINO ANG KABAYANIHAN, KATAPANGAN AT KATAPATAN. NASAKSIHAN NG BUONG SAMBAYANANG PILIPINO ANG TATAG AT TIBAY NG ATING KASUNDALUHAN NA WALANG PAG-IIMBOT NA SUMULONG SA ANUMANG PANGANIB, MAGING ITO’Y SA PANAHON NG KALAMIDAD O SA HAMON NG DIGMAAN.
SA MGA NAGDAANG TAON, ANG ATING BANSA AT ANG HUKBONG KATIHAN NG PILIPINAS AY HUMARAP SA MARAMING PAGSUBOK, NGUNIT SA MGA ORAS NG PANGAMBA, TAYO ANG UNANG INAASAHAN AT NASASANDALAN NG ATING MGA MAMAMAYAN. ATING NAIPAPAMALAS ANG TUNAY NA KAHULUGAN NG “BAYANIHAN”. BUONG PAGMAMALAKI KONG KINIKILALA ANG BAWAT SUNDALO NG HUKBONG KATIHAN, SA INYONG MATAPAT NA PAGLILINGKOD.
TOGETHER, WE WILL BRING BACK THE GLORY ON THE SOLDIERY VALUES OF VALOR AND HONOR. I STRONGLY COMMIT TO LEAD AN ARMY THAT IS 100% LOYAL TO THE CONSTITUTION AND TO THE CHAIN OF COMMAND.
HAVING SAID THAT, I AM INVITING OUR PARTNERS TO JOIN US IN MAKING YOUR ARMY A DEPENDABLE & RELIABLE ORGANIZATION. WITH A SUPPORTIVE CITIZENRY, YOUR ARMY VOWS A SERVICE BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY; A SERVICE THAT EXUDES VERSATILITY TO ENHANCE OUR STRENGTH TO FULLY BOLSTER OUR MOMENTUM; AND A SERVICE OF WISDOM AND HUMILITY TO LEARN FROM OUR DEFICIENCIES. MAGAGAWA NATIN ITO, SA BAYANIHAN, WALANG IMPOSIBLE.
TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY, AS I TAKE THE REIGNS OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AND AS I COMMIT MYSELF AS YOUR 55TH COMMANDING GENERAL, I ASK EVERYONE TO MARCH WITH ME IN UNISON; FOR I AM CERTAIN THAT WITH YOUR COOPERATION AND WHOLEHEARTED DEDICATION TO YOUR SWORN DUTY, WE HAVE NO REASON TO FAIL.
MARAMING SALAMAT, MAGANDANG HAPON, MABUHAY ANG HUKBONG KATIHAN! MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT!
*Credits: photo by the Office of the Army Chief Public Affairs
Assumption Speech of MGEN EMMANUEL T BAUTISTA, Incoming CGPA during the PA Change of Command Ceremony on 09 November 2011 at the PA Grandstand.
I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY HONORING THE GOD ALMIGHTY, THANKING HIM FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AND IMPLORING HIS DIVINE GUIDANCE AS I CARRY OUT MY DUTIES.
LET ME ALSO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY DESIGNATION AS CGPA, MOST ESPECIALLY HIS EXCELLENCY, BENIGNO S AQUINO III, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF ALL ARMED FORCES; THE HONORABLE VOLTAIRE T GAZMIN, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE; GEN EDUARDO OBAN, THE CHIEF OF STAFF AFP; AND ALL OTHERS WHO BELIEVED IN ME, SUPPORTED ME AND PRAYED FOR ME.
TO GENERAL ORTIZ, MY IMMEDIATE COMMANDER, THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT. YOU HAVE DONE A LOT FOR THE ARMY. WE SHALL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU SIR AS OUR HERO.
TO MY PREVIOUS COMMANDERS AND SUPERIORS; TO MY MENTORS AND CLASSMATES; TO MY COLLEAGUES AND SUBORDINATES; TO THE SCHOOLS WHERE I CAME FROM NAMELY MARIST SCHOOL, THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES; MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, MOST SPECIALLY MY MOTHER GLORIA; AND ALL OTHERS WHO HAVE SHAPED ME TO WHAT I AM NOW, I THANK YOU ALL.
ALLOW ME ALSO TO PAY TRIBUTE TO MY LATE FATHER, BGEN TEODULFO S BAUTISTA, A SOLDIER OF PEACE, WHO’S LEGACY IS MY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION. HE DID NOT LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO BE CGPA BUT HIS SON NOW STANDS BEFORE YOU IN HIS STEAD. HE DID NOT SEE THE DAWN OF PEACE, BUT HIS SON WILL CARRY ON THE TORCH.
I AM EXTREMELY HONORED TO HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AS THE 54th COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY. THE PHILIPPINE ARMY HAS A GLORIOUS HISTORY WHICH DATES BACK TO THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY OF ANDRES BONIFACIO AFTER WHOM THIS CAMP IS NAMED AFTER. THEN AND THROUGHOUT ITS HISTORY, THE ARMY HAS ALWAYS FOUGHT FOR THE FILIPINO PEOPLE, WINNING FOR THE FILIPINOS INDEPENDENCE AND DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY FROM VARIOUS THREATS. TODAY, THE ARMY CARRIES ON THIS TRADITION IN ITS EFFORTS TO WIN THE PEACE FOR THE FILIPINO PEOPLE.
THE PHILIPPINE ARMY HAS GONE A LONG WAY IN ITS GROWTH AS AN ORGANIZATION. WE SHALL CONTINUE TO BUILD UPON OUR GAINS AND THE LEGACIES OF PREVIOUS ARMY COMMANDERS TO FURTHER BRING THE ARMY TO GREATER HEIGHTS.
I SHALL LEAD THE ARMY GUIDED BY TWO STRATEGIC PRECEPTS: IN THE CONDUCT OF OUR OPERATIONS, BY THE INTERNAL PEACE AND SECURITY PLAN BAYANIHAN AND; IN STEERING THE ARMY, BY THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP OR ATR.
IPSP BAYANIHAN IS OUR BLUEPRINT FOR WINNING THE PEACE. THE ROAD TO PEACE IS LONG AND DIFFICULT. HOWEVER, IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITIES AND CHALLENGES, WE SHOULD REMAIN FOCUSED ON THE OBJECTIVE. WE HAVE TO PUSH ON. THE PHILIPPINE ARMY REMAINS FULLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE PEACE PROCESS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO REACH OUT TO OUR BROTHERS TO CHOOSE THE PEACEFUL PATH AND THOSE WHO DO SO MERIT OUR UNWAVERING SUPPORT. BUT FOR THOSE WHO INSIST IN USING ARMS TO THREATEN THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF OUR PEOPLE, WE WILL APPLY LEGITIMATE FORCE. YES, WE WILL SEEK JUSTICE AGAINST THOSE WHO COMMIT ATROCITIES THROUGH APPROPRIATE, CALIBRATED AND FOCUSED RESPONSE WITHOUT NECESSARILY JEOPARDIZING THE PEACE PROCESS AND WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND RULE OF LAW. AFTER ALL, THE USE OF LEGITIMATE FORCE WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT’S OVERALL FRAMEWORK OF ACHIEVING PEACE AND SECURITY IS WITHIN THE AMBIT OF IPSP BAYANIHAN.
WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF STRIDES UNDER BAYANIHAN SINCE WE IMPLEMENTED IT LAST JANUARY. LET US SUSTAIN OUR MOMENTUM BY GAINING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF IT, BY BEING MORE CONSCIENTIOUS IN ITS IMPLEMENTATION, BY GIVING IT MORE IMPETUS AND BY SUPERVISING IT MORE KEENLY TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS IMPLEMENTED DOWN THE LINE. WE HAVE TO TRANSLATE BAYANIHAN, OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY, TO THE OPERATIONAL AND TACTICAL LEVEL – HOW IT IS IMPLEMENTED ON THE GROUND.
BAYANIHAN PRESENTS TO OUR PEOPLE A CHOICE BETWEEN CONTINUOUS ARMED STRUGGLE AND PEACE. IT’S BEEN MORE THAN FOUR DECADES THAT WE HAVE BEEN EMBROILED IN CONFLICT. ARMED STRUGGLE IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS. ON THE CONTRARY, IT HAS BROUGHT A LOT OF SUFFERING AND MISERY TO OUR PEOPLE; SO MANY LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST, SO MANY FUTURES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, NOT ONLY ON BOTH SIDES BUT ALSO THOSE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE AS WELL. WE HAVE LOST DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. LET THIS BE OUR MOTIVATION TO WIN THE PEACE!
WE KNOW THAT WE CANNOT WIN THE PEACE IF WE DO NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY CAPABILITY. WE SHALL SEEK TO CONTINUOUSLY EMPOWER AND DEVELOP THE PHILIPPINE ARMY THROUGH THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP, WHICH HIGHLIGHTS OUR COMMITMENT TO PURSUE GENUINE TRANSFORMATION FOUNDED ON GOOD GOVERNANCE. IT SEEKS TO TRANSFORM THE PHILIPPINE ARMY INTO A BETTER, MORE RESPONSIVE, MORE CAPABLE AND MORE PROFESSIONAL ARMY COMMITTED TO ITS MANDATE. IT AIMS TO PROMOTE GOOD GOVERNANCE AND PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE; INSTITUTIONALIZE VARIOUS REFORM INITIATIVES; AND PROVIDE A RATIONAL AND LONG-TERM BASIS FOR THE ORGANIZATIONAL THRUST OF THE ARMY.
THE ATR IS A GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK TO ATTAIN OUR VISION OF A “WORLD CLASS ARMY THAT IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE”. LET ME WALK YOU THRU THAT VISION.
WE ENVISION AN ARMY THAT IS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING ITS MANDATE, IS OWNED AND LOVED BY THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE.
IN THE NEAR TERM, THE ARMY SHOULD BE ABLE TO WIN THE PEACE RELATIVE TO INTERNAL SECURITY THREATS. TO DO THIS, IT SHOULD UNDERGO A TRANSFORMATION PROCESS IN THE CONTEXT OF SECURITY SECTOR REFORM. THIS SHOULD INVOLVE THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAPABILITIES AND ENHANCING THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE ARMY UNDER FIRM DEMOCRATIC CONTROL. CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT IS TO FURTHER ENHANCE THE ABILITY OF THE ARMY TO MILITARILY DEFEAT ARMED THREAT GROUPS. IT ALSO INCLUDES THE ACQUISITION OF NON-TRADITIONAL SKILLS SUCH AS STAKEHOLDER AND INTERAGENCY COORDINATION AS WELL AS PEACE BUILDING. PROFESSIONALIZATION, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS FOCUSED ON THREE THINGS. FIRST IS GOOD GOVERNANCE WHERE THE ARMY ADHERES TO BEST PRACTICES AND IS DEVOID OF MALPRACTICES AND CORRUPTION. SECOND IS SHIELDING THE ARMY FROM PARTISAN POLITICS. FINALLY, WE LOOK FORWARD TO AN ARMY THAT ADHERES AND BELIEVES IN HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND RULE OF LAW. WHILE DEVELOPING OUR CAPABILITY MAY TAKE TIME, ACHIEVING A HIGHER LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM CAN TAKE PLACE SOONER.
IN THE MEDIUM TO LONG-TERM, WE ENVISION AN ARMY WHO IS RESPECTED BY ITS NEIGHBORS. BY THIS TIME, THE ARMY HAS NOW REFOCUSED TO ITS TRADITIONAL ROLE OF DEFENDING THE COUNTRY AND ITS INTEREST. WE WOULD HAVE DEVELOPED A MODICUM OF CAPABILITY FOR PROTECTING OUR INTERESTS. ITS PERSONNEL ARE PROFESSIONALS AND OUR PEOPLE APPRECIATE AND ARE PROUD OF THEIR ARMY.
BY 2028, WE WOULD HAVE ATTAINED A WORLD CLASS ARMY THAT IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE. THAT IS THE ARMY VISION. THAT IS WHERE WE WILL TAKE THIS ARMY TO, AND IN SO DOING; WE HOPE TO BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO OUR PEOPLE. IN THE SPIRIT OF BAYANIHAN AND THROUGH THE ATR, WE HOPE TO ENCOURAGE OUR PEOPLE TO JOIN US IN OUR DREAMS AND TOGETHER MOVE FORWARD AS A NATION.
AS I STARTED BY IMPLORING DIVINE GUIDANCE OF GOD ALMIGHTY, LET ME CONCLUDE BY SEEKING THE SUPPORT OF ALL MEMBERS OF TEAM ARMY AND ALL OUR STAKEHOLDERS TO INCLUDE THE ENTIRE FILIPINO PEOPLE. TOGETHER, LET US WIN THE PEACE. WE WILL WIN THE PEACE! WE OWE IT TO THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US, WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES, AND WE OWE TO OUR PEOPLE. TOGETHER LET US BUILD AN ARMY THAT WE CAN ALL BE PROUD OF. AFTER ALL, THIS IS YOUR ARMY, OUR ARMY.
MABUHAY ANG HUKBONG KATIHAN NG PILIPINAS! MABUHAY ANG SAMBAYANANG PILIPINO!
One hears or reads about the Ligots and the Garcias, or for that matter all the other rogues who have brought scandal and shame to the military in one way or another — corruption, coup attempts, election influencing — and one wonders how our armed forces can have sunk so low (the answer generally given is the Marcos dictatorhip, and his coddling of the military).
“We want to be the Army of the Filipino people. We want our people to be proud of us. That is our motivation for the ATR. Your Army will transform. We will transform. And when we do, we expect everyone to transform with us.” – MGEN EMMANUEL T BAUTISTA, Commander 3ID (PA Revalida for PGS Compliance 14 October 2011)
Aligning the Organization and Cascading the Strategy: Ensuring the Sustained Implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap
By LTC ROMMEL R CORDOVA (INF) PA
In 2010, the Philippine Army took a bold step forward when it embarked on an 18-year transformation program that aims to build a more responsive and competent Army fully capable of undertaking its mandated tasks. Through this program aptly called the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR), the Army envisions itself to be “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. This initiative demonstrates the Army’s strong resolve towards the righteous path of good governance, which is in line with the policy thrusts of the current Aquino Administration.
However, implementing a dramatic and total change involving the Philippines’ largest uniformed service is a huge and challenging task. This requires the firm determination of the leadership and the strong support of its stakeholders, both internal and external; without which carrying out a large-scale change program will most likely fail. Thus, the success of a transformation initiative is largely hinged on the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders.
In this light, this article will discuss and outline the key strategy mechanisms implemented in order to align the entire organization to the strategic direction set by the ATR and ensure that the Army is prepared for the full implementation of the strategy through increased awareness and accountability. This will be carried out in three (3) sections. The first section will provide an overview of the Army’s journey towards good governance by defining the key concepts that guides the Army Transformation Roadmap. The second section will highlight the four alignment mechanisms that are implemented in order to ensure that all Army units, offices and personnel are aligned to the set direction and are committed to support the implementation of the ATR. Finally, the third section will outline the early gains that came as a result of the ATR and the ways ahead in order to sustain the momentum of the transformation program. Overall, this essay will conclude that the success of this reform initiative and the realization of the Army 2028 vision rest on the strong commitment and full involvement of the Army’s stakeholders, both within and without the organization.
Road to Army Transformation
Transformation is not new to the Army. Its history is a story of evolution from a revolutionary army during its early years to a dynamic partner in peace and nation-building over a century later. In the course of time, it has remained receptive to various initiatives for reforms.
More recently, the Army has embarked on a transformation program that placed emphasis in a change in paradigm which involves thinking beyond self, short-term, and single issues. Through this program, the Army must focus on the institution rather than the personalities; must consider long-term strategies rather than short-term tactics; and must approach all matters from a systems perspective in order to address interrelated priorities rather than single issues.
Specifically, the Army’s reform program must address organizational issues at three levels. Firstly, the Army must reengineer current systems and process to make it more efficient, responsive and transparent. Secondly, it must address identified capability shortfalls to make Army units more capable and operationally ready to perform its mandate. Finally, the Army must address issues related to the competence, discipline, motivation, and professionalism of individual soldiers.
In order to pursue these reform agenda, the Army, in partnership with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), has formulated the Army Transformation Roadmap, which is a governance and transformation program anchored on the Performance Governance System (PGS).
The ATR highlights our commitment to pursue a genuine transformation program founded on good governance. It seeks to transform the PA into a better, more responsive, more capable and more professional Army committed to its mandate. It aims to promote good governance and performance excellence; institutionalize the various reform initiatives; and provide a rational and long-term basis for the organizational thrusts of the Army.
It’s an 18-year transformation program that intends to provide stability to thrusts and policies despite frequent changes in leadership. The ATR is also a governance program that serves as a guide and constant reference for decisions and actions taken on a day-to-day basis.
The ATR has three important components namely: the Army Governance Charter which defines the Army’s strategic direction, the Army Strategy Map that outlines our strategic approaches, and the CGPA Governance Scorecard which facilitates strategy execution.
The Governance Charter sets and defines the strategic direction that the Army wants to pursue for the next 18-years. It highlights our core values of “Honor, Patriotism, and Duty”; our Core Purpose of “serving the people, securing the land”; and our vision to be “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028.
The Army has also developed a transformation roadmap that visually captures its strategy on how to realize our vision. The strategy map highlights the three strategic themes of good governance, organizational excellence, and operational excellence. It considers the 5 strategic perspectives used to define the 13 strategic objectives of the ATR. It emphasizes the importance of stakeholder involvement to support its good governance agenda. Moreover, it illustrates the cause-and-effect relationship of the strategic objectives and describes the story on how the Army will be able to realize our vision.
In order to ensure that the ATR goals are attained and the vision is realized, the Army crafted the Commanding General’s (CGPA) Governance Scorecard that translates the vision into objectives, measures and performance targets. The Army identified 21 measures which are used to evaluate the success of the Army in relation to the strategic objectives outlined in the ATR. (In the interest of time I will not discuss in detail the various performance indicators but feel free to refer to the ATR pamphlet provided.)
Strategy Execution and Alignment
Aligning the Army & Cascading the ATR
The success of the Army’s transformation initiative rest on the proper implementation of the ATR, otherwise it will just remain as a planning document or at the conceptual level. To jumpstart its execution, the Army needs to align key aspects of the organization to the ATR. The concept of strategic alignment aims to ground the Army better to its strategy by increasing awareness, creating accountabilities and building focus. In this regard, strategic alignment is attained in the Army through the following mechanisms:
(1) Alignment in functions, systems and policies in which, through the scorecard infrastructure as a common framework, different offices and units in the Army are aligned to the ATR through the scorecard cascading process.
(2) Alignment in resources in which the Army prioritized the allocation of resources to support the programs, activities and projects identified in the ATR that are designed to produce the desired strategic outcomes.
(3) Alignment in message in which the Army endeavors to promote greater awareness and commitment to the ATR.
(4) Alignment in expectations in which the Army actively reaches out to and closely partners with its external stakeholders in order to attain its long-term vision.
Aligning Functions, Systems and Policies
The realization of the Army vision and the attainment of the ATR goals necessitate that the day-to-day operations of all the units and offices in the Army must be synchronized and linked to the strategic direction set by the ATR. This is achieved by aligning to the ATR the various systems and policies governing the Army as well as the functions and programs of key Army units and offices through a scorecard cascading process.
To generate greater impact on the cascading process, the Army initially pursued the horizontal cascading philosophy. This means that the Army choose to cascade first to the key staff at the Headquarters Philippine Army (HPA) because they are the policy-making arm of the CGPA and manages a specific functional program; hence, they influence how the entire Army operates through its policies, plans and programs. Moreover, cascading the ATR to these functional staff offices will align the various functional systems to the thrusts and goals of the ATR. The succeeding table identifies the eleven (11) offices that underwent the initial ATR cascading process.
SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY
Intelligence and counterintelligence
Operations, organization, CAGU affairs, force integration, performance measurement & doctrines evaluation
Strategic planning, capability development & international defense and security engagements
Management of communications, electronics & information systems
Civil-military operations particularly on civil affairs, public affairs, & psychological operations
Education, training and doctrines development
Reserve affairs administration, reserve manpower development & reserve force development
The Army started the cascading process last 02-03 December 2010 through a pilot cascading session for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, PA in order to familiarize the ATRTWG with the process. After which, a series of two cascading working sessions were conducted last 25-28 January and 01-04 February 2011 involving the rest of the identified offices which were divided into groups of five per session. This was followed by individual working sessions per office last August 2011 in order to refine the various outputs.
Each office went through the process of analyzing its customers vis-à-vis its outcome and evaluated the office processes through the value chain analysis framework in order to derive the desired change agenda where they based their respective strategic objectives. They then proceeded to develop their respective second-level scorecards with specific measures and targets; and outlined the initiatives which must be implemented to attain the outlined office objectives.
Illustrating the Cascading Process
To illustrate how the cascading process was done, we have chosen the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training, G8, PA as an example because of the big impact it has on the accomplishment of the mission of the PA as well as on the ATR. As the principal staff responsible for all matters related to education, training and doctrines development, aligning the policies, plans and programs of OG8, PA with the goals of the ATR will greatly affect the accomplishment of the Army mission and the realization of the Army vision. Moreover, the thrusts of OG8, PA will directly influence the training programs of the various training and operating units of Army.
During the cascading workshops, OG8 has clarified its roles and responsibilities vis-à-vis the thrusts of the ATR using the customer-outcome analysis framework. Though this framework, OG8 clearly defined its outcome of having a “well-educated and well-trained Army” which is directly contributory to the desired outcome of the ATR to have a “professional Army loved by the people.”
Secondly, through the Value Chain Analysis framework, OG8 has defined the processes, key outputs and activities related to education and training management and doctrine development leading to the identification of the gaps and issues that became a basis for their change agenda as outlined in the table below.
|No established procedures on analysis, design, development & evaluation (ADDE) of training programs||Well-established procedures|
|No institutionalized training program for personnel that handle ADDE functions||Well-trained personnel for ADDE functions|
|Limited capability to confer instructor certification vis-a-vis requirements||Efficient and effective instructor certification system|
|Lack of leadership training at the tactical level (fire teams to company)||Training programs for development of tactical leaders|
|No effective monitoring system||Education and training activities are effectively monitored|
|Poorly funded training||Adequate facilities and equipment for training|
|Lack of adequate facilities|
|Lack of appreciation on the value of training at the tactical level||Commanders and personnel value the importance of training|
|No standardized training||Improve operational and training capacity|
|Widespread lack of basic proficiency|
|AFP views combat operations as satisfying training|
|Cumbersome doctrine development process||Expeditious doctrine development process|
Thirdly, based on the customer-outcome analysis and the change agenda, OG8 identified the following eleven (11) second-level objectives majority which are aligned to the CGPA strategic objectives:
|11. Well-educated and trained Army.|
|10 .Adopt an effective system of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of training programs.|
|9. Pursue an effective and efficient monitoring of education and training activities.|
|8. Implement responsive training programs.|
|7. Develop an expeditious doctrine development process.|
|6. Develop competent tactical leaders.|
|5. Develop competent and standardized core instructors.|
|4. Develop competent OG8 personnel that can effectively carry out the management of training and development programs.|
Logistics & Finance
|3. Ensure adequacy of funds, equipment, and facilities relative to training objectives.|
|2. Ensure availability of fund resource to fully support doctrine development.|
|1. Advocate stakeholders’ support for the training programs.|
Fourthly, OG8 then identified a total of fourteen (14) measures with corresponding targets which would assess its performance vis-à-vis the stated second-level objectives. The second-level objectives, measures and targets formed the second-level scorecard of OG8.
|11. Well-educated and trained Army.||14. Unit Training Readiness|
|10 .Adopt an effective system of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of training programs.||13. Percentage of ADDE certified personnel|
|9. Pursue an effective and efficient monitoring of education and training activities.||12. Training performance evaluation rating
|8. Implement responsive training programs.||11. Learner satisfaction index
10. Combat Effectiveness Rating
|7. Develop an expeditious doctrine development process.||9. Doctrine Development Throughput Time|
|6. Develop competent tactical leaders.||8. Individual Training Readiness Rating|
|5. Develop competent and standardized core instructors.||7. Percentage of certified instructors|
|4. Develop competent OG8 personnel that can effectively carry out the management of training and development programs.||6. OG8 Individual Training Readiness Rating|
|3. Ensure adequacy of funds, equipment, and facilities relative to training objectives.||5. Student’s Trng Logistics Satisfaction index
4. Equipment Readiness of training units
|2. Ensure availability of fund resource to fully support doctrine development.||3. Percentage of funded programmed number of PADs & manuals for test & eval’n
|1. Advocate stakeholders’ support for the training programs.||2. Training quality index
1. Percentage of trainings accomplished
Finally, OG8 identified two initiatives that will drive their performance. The first is the Enhancement of Doctrine Development System project which intends to revise the Army Doctrine Feedback System Manual, recruit highly competent civilian researchers, and establish a lessons learned system. The second OG8-sponsored initiative is the Enhancement of the PA Education and Training Management System project broken down into the following project components or activities:
(5) Improve the Training Information Management System
(6) Enhance and standardize unit and staff training system
(7) Enhance the pre-entry training system
(8) Strengthen training of Army personnel on HR, IHL, and rule of law
(9) Improve the marksmanship training system
(10) Improve the leadership training and development
(11) Ensure responsive and efficient instructor certification system
(12) Improve the system of analysis, design, development, and evaluation (ADDE) of training programs
(13) OG8 Personnel skills development program
In sum, by undergoing the cascading process, OG8 has clearly defined its roles and identified its thrusts in line with the thrusts of the ATR. It built consciousness and focus to all its programs towards the strategic direction set by the ATR. Moreover, definite accountabilities were defined as far as its contribution to the CGPA’s scorecard is concerned.
The ATR will remain a piece of paper unless the strategic initiatives identified to drive its performance are funded and implemented. Hence, another key to successfully implementing the ATR is ensuring that it is linked to the budgeting process.
In line with this, as early as November 2010, the ATRTWG had been closely coordinating with the Office for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3, PA, who is responsible for the formulation of the Annual Army Operating Program (AOP) to prioritize the programming of those activities and projects under the ATR strategic initiatives. As a result, for CY 2011, a new priority program under the name ATR Quick-Win Projects was created comprising of the key ATR activities that must be implemented within CY 2011. In consultation with the Army Resource Management Office (ARMO) and the Program and Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC), the 2011 ATR Quick-Win Project was allocated about P78.66M under the 2011 Annual Plan and Budget (APB).
However, in order to ensure that the ATR initiatives for 2012 onwards will be prioritized and funded, there is a need to institutionalize the practice of aligning the budget process to the strategy. Towards this end, the Army established the PA Strategic Management System (SMS) last 20 May 2011 by virtue of HPA Standing Operating Procedure Nr. 5. The PA SMS aims to reconcile and align the Army systems with the new process mandated by the ATR and the Defense System of Management (DSOM) to produce a coherent and logical framework that would allow the Army to work in a single direction towards a desired end-state. While the ATR provides the strategic framework in terms organizational development of the Army, the DSOM is an integrative strategic, capability development and resource management framework designed to support current, medium-term, and long-term requirements of DND and the AFP. The key output of DSOM is the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) which defines the medium-term priorities of the DND. Through the PA SMS, the development of the Army’s APB is now informed not only by the DPG but also by the priorities under the ATR.
Communicating the ATR
The third critical factor for the successful implementation of the ATR is generating the support and commitment of key internal and external stakeholders. Thus, in order to push the transformation initiative towards attaining the desired end-state, it is imperative for the Army to get the buy in not only of the Army top leadership, and the majority of the officers, non-commissioned officers (NCO), and civilian employees, but also the support of the Army’s external constituents. To realize this, the PA needs to promote greater awareness and appreciation of the ATR both within and without the organization.
Towards this end, LTGEN REYNALDO B MAPAGU, then CGPA, issued a letter directive last 19 July 2010 outlining the ATR implementing plan and guidelines. This was further strengthened by the Command Guidance issued by the new CGPA, LTGEN ARTURO B ORTIZ last 03 January 2011 enjoining all unit commanders and chiefs of offices to ensure the timely, effective, and sustained implementation of the ATR. This message was further reiterated in the Command Guidance issued last 21 March 2011.
In line with this, the Army pursued an ATR information and advocacy campaign as early as May 2010 involving the conduct of lectures and presentation on the ATR during the various forums sponsored by HPA like the Battalion Commanders’ Symposia, Company Commanders’ Seminar, Senior NCO Leaders Symposia, and the annual family conferences hosted by the different HPA staff. A module on the ATR was also included in the Staff Officer Course.
Moreover, articles and papers about the ATR were also published in the different Army publications like the Army Journal, the Army Troopers Newsmagazine, and Army calendars, etc. To have a ready reference on the ATR, an ATR special edition of the Army Journal for the January-March 2011 issue and the ATR Information Booklet were also published.
Despite these communication initiatives, the Army needs to synchronize and sustain the ATR information and dissemination activities in order to ensure that critical information, key themes, and messages regarding the ATR are effectively relayed to, understood, and articulated by our internal target audience (ITA). In line with this, the Army implemented the ATR Communication Plan (ComPlan) “Breakthrough Results” Alpha effective 01 June 2011. The ATR ComPlan “A” calls for the utilization of all available communication media and tools to relay critical information, key themes, and messages on the ATR like print, audio-visual, and social media through the internet.
Involving the Community
The fourth key success factor to realize the ATR goals and aspirations is the active involvement, support and commitment of our external stakeholders. In this light, the Army must work closely with the key sectors of the society and get them to partner and support the Army as it journey towards attaining its vision to be “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. Thus, to ensure stakeholder participation in the ATR, the Army formed and organized the PA Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB) last 26 Jul 2011.
The PA MSAB is an advisory body of the CGPA composed of distinguished representatives from various sectors of the society who are willing to partner with and help the Army pursue its transformation initiatives. The MSAB is primarily organized to promote the continuity and sustainability of the ATR and to encourage shared responsibility in the success of the ATR.
The MSAB is composed of Dr. Jesus P Estanislao of ISA as Board Chair with the following as members: Mr. Ramon del Rosario Jr. of the Makati Business Club, Ms. Victoria Garchitorena of Ayala Foundation, Atty. Alexander Lacson, Ms. Solita Collas-Monsod, Mayor Oscar Rodriguez on San Fernando, Pampanga, Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento of Western Samar and Ms. Samira Gutoc-Tomawis. They had their inaugural meeting last 26 July 2011 and a special working session last 08-09 September 2011.
Sustaining the Momentum
Pursuing the ATR has been a great challenge. However, despite changes in the Army leadership, we have shown our commitment to pursue our reform program. By undergoing the various PGS processes and continuous ATR advocacy, we have also earned the support and commitment of our internal stakeholders by involving more personnel, units and offices in the ATR implementation process especially the formulation of second-level scorecards.
Moreover, through the MSAB, the Army had obtained the support and commitment of our key external stakeholders. In fact, last 10 September 2011, Prof. Solita Collas-Monsod wrote an encouraging article about the Army’s transformation initiative in her weekly column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
However, at this early stage of implementation, the greatest benefit we gained from the ATR is the fact that we have defined our strategic priorities and have linked our day-to-day operations to our long-term direction.
As evidenced by the things that we had undertaken, we have shown that the Army is fully committed to implement the ATR and realize our vision. However, to sustain our momentum and build on the gains we had achieved, the Army intends to pursue the following:
(1) Ensure the execution of the ATR strategic initiatives, especially the ATR Quick-Win projects for CY 2011-2013;
(2) Monitor the institutionalization of the PA SMS in order to ensure the alignment of the planning, programming and budget execution system to the strategic direction set by the ATR;
(3) Institutionalize the second-level scorecards of the General Staff, ARMO, and MFO by involving the Army Inspector General in the monitoring of these scorecards and conduct ATR Cascading Workshops for other HPA Staff and Major Subordinate Units to generate second-level scorecards and initiatives, promote greater awareness and understanding of the ATR, and ensure that the effects of the ATR implementation will be felt by every soldier in the field;
(4) Continuously pursue the ATR advocacy and information campaign in accordance with the ATR Communications Plan;
(5) Actively work and closely partner with PA MSAB in order to pursue the goals of the ATR by optimizing their expertise and exploiting the opportunities that can be made available to support our transformation initiatives; and
(6) Build-up the organizational capacity and transform the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, PA to act as the “Office for Strategy Management” (OSM) in order to ensure the effective and proper implementation of the ATR. As the OSM, OG5 shall be tasked to oversee the strategy execution and track the performance of the organization through the Scorecard infrastructure system. It addresses the gaps in strategy execution by providing facilitative leadership for the entire strategy management process.
In sum, the ATR is a governance framework that seeks to transform the current systems and processes, and synchronize our current programs and activities in order to attain our vision to be a “world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. The Army has put countless efforts in implementing the ATR. Still, a lot of things have to be done. The entire process of completing one loop that will bring about reaping breakthrough results takes years in practice. To realize the 2028 vision, we need the commitment and strong support of our key external and internal stakeholders. The entire Army, from the soldiers in the frontlines to the top leadership in the headquarters as well as the various sectors of our society need to work hard together.
About the author:
Lieutenant Colonel Rommel R Cordova is currently the Chief of the Strategy Management Branch of OG5, PA, which is primarily tasked to manage, supervise and monitor the implementation of the ATR. He is a member of PMA “Maalab” Class of 1993 and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Affairs from the Australian National University and a Master’s Degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management.
By: Solita Collas-Monsod
Philippine Daily Inquirer 09 September 2011
The Philippine Army has a new face—and a new body to match. Either that or it had me completely fooled for two days, and pulled the wool over the eyes of the likes of Jess Estanislao, Alex Lacson and Samilra Tomawis as well. The four of us are part of the nine-member Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB).
The MSAB is part of the Army’s face-lifting, body-building process. It had its inaugural session only six weeks ago. But its initial working session was held at Fort Magsaysay yesterday (Friday), and that’s where I got almost literally bowled over.
The camp was the first eye-opener. Time was when it went by the nickname “Fort Magsisi” (given by the soldiers themselves) because if you were assigned there, magsisisi ka (you will regret it). Well, I saw the 46,000-hectare (it used to be 70,000 but got “encroached”) Fort Magsaysay for the first time on Thursday, and it had tiled roofs, paved roads, landscaped gardens, and top-grade facilities for the officers and enlisted men of the Special Operations Command and the Seventh Infantry Division.
I wasn’t the only one impressed. US officers who went there recently for the Balikatan training exercises apparently couldn’t believe that they were in the same camp that they had been in for previous exercises. Apparently Commanding General Arturo Ortiz, who has the reputation of improving the surrounding infrastructure wherever he is assigned, was the one who started the ball rolling at Fort Magsaysay. It certainly beats Camps Aguinaldo and Crame.
After our meeting on Thursday, the MSAB was treated to “Capability Demonstrations”—and that was another eye-opener. Do you know that the Army has snipers of so high a caliber that they can pick off targets up to 1.2 kilometers away? I saw them do it.
And they had their version of William Tell. Remember the story of the marksman who was forced to prove his prowess by shooting at an apple perched on his own son’s head? Well, in this modern version, one sniper stood with two balloons on either side of him filled with red-colored water, while his sniper buddy, from 25 meters away, shot at the balloons and burst them. I kid you not. Then the buddies changed places, so that the buddy holding the target balloons was now the shooter. How about that for a confidence-building exercise?
There were other capability demonstrations which unfortunately I cannot write about for security reasons. But I can assure you that they boosted my confidence in the Philippine Army and its capabilities. The image of a fumbling, bumbling, inept organization is definitely gone.
But the best is yet to come. The main purpose of our visit to Fort Magsaysay and our MSAB “introductory working session” was for us to be brought up to speed and get our feedback on the “Army Transformation Roadmap” (ATR). The ATR is an ambitious, 18-year strategic plan whose ultimate objective is to convert the Philippine Army into “A World-Class Army That Is A Source of National Pride by 2028.”
The ATR was compared to scaling a high, Everest-like mountain, by 2028, with base camps (intermediate targets) to be reached along the way. And it wasn’t just big words: there were indicators galore that would allow an objective assessment of whether the roadmap was indeed being followed, with scorecards for all levels, from the top (the commanding general) to the bottom (the company commander).
Truth to tell, probing questions were asked by the MSAB. There seemed to be a sense of cynicism about whether this plan was “owned” by the Army at all levels (which is a necessary condition for its success), or whether it was the brainchild of someone at the top (which would then be discarded when he retired).
It turned out—and this is where we saw the first sign of a real transformation—that the ATR was the product of a week-long brainstorming session participated in by 49 officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees (talk about participatory decision-making), assisted by 12 staff and facilitators. The sessions, which sometimes lasted until the wee hours of the morning, were described as stormy, passionate, but always with views that came from sincere and committed hearts.
The most senior and most junior officers present during the brainstorming (in Tagaytay) were also present: Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, a principal figure in both the AFP’s Bayanihan (“winning the peace”) paradigm shift and the ATR, and 2nd Lt. Mario Feliciano, an Iranian-Filipino who started his military studies at the Philippine Military Academy and then finished at West Point.
The witness given by Feliciano was most powerful: The scandals wracking the Army (Garcia, Ligot) so disillusioned the fresh graduate that he thought seriously of resigning. Then he was asked to participate in the brainstorming, and what he saw and experienced there—the sincerity, the commitment, and the rank-free openness of the discussions—made him change his mind. He is solidly behind the ATR and will stake his life on it. The young lieutenant’s testimony, interrupted by his attempts to hold back his tears, brought most of his listeners to tears.
MSAB Chair Jess Estanislao asked all the other officers present to speak their minds, and it was clear to everyone in the room that the ATR was wholly “owned.”
Which bodes very well for the Army, and for the Philippines.
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THE PHILIPPINE ARMY MULTI-SECTOR ADVISORY BOARD: Strengthening Private-Public Partnership in Governance
The Philippine Army (PA) is on a long-term journey towards transforming itself to be “a world-class army that is a source of national pride.” It firmly believes that to attain this goal, it is imperative that the Army reform and enhance its critical systems and processes in order to be a more credible, reliable, responsive and professional Army. In its determination to embrace a sustainable transformation that will permeate through every level of the organization, the PA, in partnership with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), formulated the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).
The ATR is an 18-year transformation and governance program largely based on the Performance Governance System (PGS), which is an adaptation of Harvard’s Balance Scorecard framework into the local circumstances of the Philippines. The PGS espouses a performance-based good governance culture and ensures the sustainment of strategies by establishing the participation of external stakeholders. More importantly, the PGS guarantees that external stakeholders are genuine partners in strategy formulation and execution. This will not only enhance transparency and accountability but will also ensure that strategies and programs are responsive to the needs of the public.
In recognition of the important role of external stakeholders in the PGS process and, hence, the ATR, the PA is moving towards establishing a multi-sector governance coalition, to be aptly named as the PA Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB). The PA is currently undergoing the Compliance Stage, the second stage of the four-stage PGS Governance Pathway, and the establishment of the MSAB is one of the critical requirements to hurdle this stage.
In this light, this paper will present the proposed organizational concept of the MSAB. Firstly, it will highlight its importance vis-à-vis the implementation of the ATR. Secondly, it will discuss the organizational framework that will govern the MSAB. Finally, it will present the proposed composition of the MSAB and the value they will bring to the PA and the Board. Overall, this paper will argue that the organization of the MSAB is one important step in our journey towards good governance and performance excellence and attaining our goal of transforming the Army in an institution that can truly be a source of national pride for all Filipinos.
Importance of the Multi-Sector Advisory Board
One of the requirements to pass the PGS Compliance Stage is to achieve ‘alignment in expectations and support mechanisms’ in which the PA must work closely with its external and internal stakeholders and must get them to partner and support the organization in realizing the 2028 Vision. To attain this, therefore, the MSAB must be established and formalized. The MSAB will serve as the PA’s partner in generating the necessary support from its external stakeholders in relation to implementing the ATR and realizing the 2028 Vision.
The establishment of the MSAB highlights the PA’s commitment to genuine reforms. The MSAB will promote good governance through transparency and accountability. Also, it will encourage a stronger private-public partnership which is one of the key policy thrusts of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Additionally, it will encourage the concept of shared responsibility in good governance. And it will encourage continuity of policies and programs, will provide expert opinion and advice on program execution, and will help generate additional resources which will contribute to the attainment of the goals of the ATR and the realization of the 2028 Vision to be ‘a world-class Army that is a source of national pride’.
Roles and Responsibilities
The MSAB will be organized as an advisory board, primarily to provide the Commanding General, Philippine Army (CGPA) expert advice and opinion on how to successfully attain the goals underscored in the ATR. In this regard, the MSAB exist for the following purpose, namely: (1) to promote the continuity and sustainability of the Army Transformation Roadmap; and (2) to encourage shared responsibility in the success of the Army Transformation Roadmap.
Based on this two-fold purpose, the following responsibilities of the Board are outlined. With regard to its role of “promoting the continuity and sustainability of the ATR”, the responsibilities of the MSAB are as follows:
- To recommend relevant policies to the PA which are critical for the latter to achieve breakthrough results;
- To provide strategic assessment of the ATR programs as the needs arise;
- To act as external auditor of the Army’s performance relative to the scorecard;
- To assist in the generation of additional resources for the ATR in the form of donations, grants, and the like; and
- To ensure that the PA completes its PGS and that all the processes contained in it are properly installed.
In line with its role of ‘encouraging shared responsibility in the success of the ATR, their responsibilities are the following:
- To help generate public support for the ATR;
- To help enhance partnership with key sectors and stakeholders which are crucial to the ATR implementation; and
- To help validate the results of the stakeholder surveys that will be conducted, i.e. Net Trust Rating and Net Satisfaction Rating.
The PA Multi-Sector Advisory Board is a Board organized by the CGPA to ensure the sustained and successful implementation of the ATR. It will be supported and funded by the PA. The MSAB shall comprise a maximum of fifteen (15) representatives of the key stakeholders of the PA. Its members shall be invited and appointed by the CGPA for a two-year term that will be renewable. To ensure an overlap of tenure, half of the initial members will be appointed for one year.
The Board will have three (3) key officers, namely: Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary. The Chairman will be appointed by the CGPA. On the other hand, the Vice-Chairman will be elected by the members of the Board while the designated Secretary of the Board is the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, PA.
Moreover, in light of its purpose, roles and responsibilities, it will have six standing committees with three of the committees focusing on the strategic themes of the ATR. The table below outlines the committees and their respective functions:
|Membership & Policy||
In line with its responsibilities, the MSAB will have four (4) regular activities: one (1) activity per quarter. Two of the activities will be the regular board meetings that will be done every first and third quarters of the year. Another regular activity will be the mid-year meeting with the Army leadership and management team comprising the Chief of Staff, PA, the general and coordinating staff and other key staff of the CGPA. This will be done every second quarter of the year. The last activity for the year will be the year-end strategy review with the CGPA together with his key staff.
The other activities of the MSAB which will be done as required or on the need basis are as follows: committee meetings, consultations with respective sectors, and field visitations. The members may also be invited to important PA activities like the Change of Command Ceremony, the PA Foundation Day, and the annual PA Senior Leaders Conference.
For the Board to function effectively and efficiently, the flow of communication between the PA and the MSAB must be clearly defined. Both are expected to report to each other. On the side of the PA, it is expected that the following documents are submitted to the MSAB in line with its advisory function:
- PA Annual Accomplishment Report, which details the accomplishment by mission area as well as the operational readiness condition report;
- ATR Accomplishment Report, which outlines accomplishment relative to the 13 strategic objectives based on the CGPA Performance Governance Scorecard;
- ATR Project Management Plans, which will highlight the unfunded requirements; and
- ATR Stakeholder Engagement Plan that will contain the updates on the ATR Communications Plan and the results of the stakeholder surveys; and
- Regular ATR updates and other related information needed by the Board in line with its advisory functions.
As far as the MSAB is concerned, it expected that based on the outlined reports and information the Board will provide the PA with assessment, advice and policy recommendations. Specifically, the following are the expected deliverables of the Board:
- Annual Assessment, which will include an audit of the PA’s ATR progress, corrective measures and policy recommendations; and
- Fund Generation Plan, which will include a fund generation strategy and a list of probable sources of funds and resources for the PA to pursue its ATR initiatives.
The MSAB shall comprise a maximum of fifteen (15) representatives of the various sectors of our society who are willing to partner and help the PA pursue its transformation initiatives. The following sectors are proposed to be represented in the MSAB because of the value and expertise the will be able to bring and contribute:
1. Business Sector
The PA needs to formalize linkages with the business sector. Representatives from the aforementioned may be tapped as sources of creative ideas in resource generation to ensure that programs and projects related to the ATR are successfully implemented. Moreover, they can also provide expertise relative leadership and management.
With the media’s power to influence public perception and effectiveness in information dissemination, it is necessary for the MSAB to have media representatives. They could help the PA strengthen linkages with media organizations thereby enhancing the flow of communication. Most importantly, they could provide expertise on how the PA could effectively reach out and communicate with its other stakeholders.
Representatives from the academe would be able to provide the PA with their expertise in security sector reform, leadership, management, and governance. With their expertise, they would then be able to help steer the PA towards the attainment of its vision. Most importantly, they have a heavy influence on the next generation and will be able to help the Army on how to effectively reach out the next generation of leaders.
The PA needs support of our legislators to pursue a successful transformation program because to be implementable the proposed programs and projects that will bring about the desired changes should be properly funded. Moreover, there may be a need to come up with legislative proposals in order to institutionalize these changes. In this regard, the representation from Congress will enhance the composition of the Board.
5. Local Government Units (LGU) and National Government Agencies (NGA)
The LGUs and NGAs are critical actors in development and security. They also act as alternate conduits for political participation. Thus, the MSAB needs representative from both the LGU and the NGA so that they can provide expert opinion on how to enhance cooperation and coordination among government entities as well as optimize the impact of current government programs.
The youth, characterized with spirit and resilience, must be represented in the MSAB because they provide fresh ideas and vigor to the Board. Moreover, they could provide the perspectives on how the Army could satisfy the expectations of the next generation and how the PA can tap the youth to pursue the ATR goals.
7. Church/Religious Sector
Another important representative of the MSAB should come from the religious sector because they act as the conscience of the community and this perspective could be helpful to the MSAB. Said representative could work on helping the PA find venues of greater participation as well as aid the Army in implementing programs with great social impact.
Of course, in the course of the activities of the MSAB, legal expertise will be necessary. Thus, the MSAB should have a representative from the legal sector who can provide legal advice and expertise.
9. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
Representation from the NGOs is beneficial to the PA because it encourages the greater involvement and participation of the community and society to the programs of the PA. They could also help advance good governance practices as well as facilitate in helping the PA generate resources to support its programs.
10. International Partners
The PA has a lot of international partners and allies who are willing to support the PA’s transformation goals. Giving them representation in the MSAB will benefit the Army because they could help in the generation of additional resources needed to implement ATR-related projects. Moreover, since the vision of the Army is to adopt world-class standards, they could provide regional and global perspectives.
The implementation of the ATR is a great challenge to the PA. In order to realize its vision to be “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028, the organization needs the support of both its internal and external stakeholders. However, leveraging stakeholder support has always been a problem for the PA due to the inadequacies of the organization to effectively engage and partner with the various sectors of the society as well as the apparent lack of commitment of key external stakeholders brought about by the military’s weak credibility in carrying out genuine reforms. Therefore, formally establishing the Multi-Sector Advisory Board could be one of the concrete steps that the PA can undertake to highlight our commitment to genuine transformation founded on good governance and performance excellence.
Through the MSAB, the PA promotes transparency and accountability by opening institution to the scrutinizing eyes of our key stakeholders. They can assess the PA programs relative to the desired end-state as well as their impact to the Army’s constituents. They can also help ensure the successful and sustained implementation of the ATR through their expert opinions and recommendations. Moreover, they can facilitate the generation of additional resources to support ATR program implementation. Furthermore, the MSAB promotes stronger a stronger private-public partnership and advances the concept of shred responsibility in good governance.