The Army Transformation Roadmap 2028
A Journey Towards Good Governance and Performance Excellence
For the past years, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was plagued with controversies such as allegations of corruption, military adventurism, human rights abuses, and revolving-door policy affecting its leadership. This year, the military institution is once again at the limelight of media and public scrutiny with the ongoing Senate inquiries on the “pabaons” of its former chiefs of staff. This is further aggravated by the unexplained wealth of past AFP comptrollers. The issues have highlighted the systemic problems which have long beset the military institution. And these have placed to the fore the need to come up with a sustainable solution to these problems, likewise, to institute good governance and performance excellence.
The Philippine Army (PA) believes that there is indeed a need to reform the organization and to enhance the critical systems within it. Furthermore, the PA has been very supportive of the various reform initiatives of the defense department especially the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) Program, the Defense System of Management (DSOM), the AFP Modernization Program, and the AFP Capability Upgrade Program (CUP). In fact, in order to sustain and institutionalize these initiatives, the PA has formulated a transformation program anchored on the Performance Governance System (PGS). The PGS is an adaptation of Harvard’s Balanced Scorecard Framework into the local circumstances of the Philippines.
Using a Governance Framework to Realize Army Transformation
The PA transformation program is aptly referred to as the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR). The primary purpose of the ATR is to transform the PA into a better, more dynamic, more responsive, more capable, and more professional Army committed to its mandate of serving the people and securing the land. It aims to provide a rational and long-term basis for the organizational and capability thrusts of the PA; to establish and synchronize the various reform initiatives; and to advance and institutionalize good governance and performance excellence.
Long-term and Strategic Approach to Governance
Similar to other successful and sustainable transformation initiatives, the ATR focuses on the long-term strategic direction of the PA. The ATR has adopted an 18-year horizon which should be long enough for the transformation it envisions. Given the frequent changes in leadership, the long-term approach will provide stability to the policies and programs of the PA and will serve as reference and guide for the strategic priorities of the Commanding General, Philippine Army (CGPA). In this way, the broader, institutional, and long-term interests of the PA would neither be sacrificed nor relegated into the background in favor of the narrower, personality-driven, and short-term interests.
However, the emphasis on the long-term perspective will not adversely affect the current operational requirements and the day-to-day operations of the PA. This is due to the fact that the ATR is primarily a transformation program based on the PGS. As such, it also serves as a constant reference and guide for decisions and actions taken on an everyday basis. Consequently, the ATR promotes performance excellence by ensuring that these decisions and actions are directed towards a clear vision which will help provide coherence, inner consistency, and proper alignment between them. It secures balance among the many initiatives, programs, and projects that need to be undertaken. Likewise, it galvanizes the entire PA towards breakthrough results that build on top of each other, such that in the end all the strategic priorities are met and the vision is realized within the time horizon specified.
In this regard, the ATR as a governance document is oriented towards performance, largely because of the system of alignment that it imposes. Its power is ultimately measured by the results it actually delivers.
On the Road to Transformation
The ATR was developed in partnership with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), a non-government organization advocating good governance and responsible citizenship in national government agencies and local government units through the PGS. The concept was initiated in August 2009 but the initial draft of the ATR was formulated in April 2010 by a small but select group of current and future Army leaders representing the senior officers, field-grade officers, junior officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs), reservists, and civilian employees through open and sometimes heated discussions and deep introspections during an intensive five-day working session facilitated by ISA in Tagaytay. The initial draft of the ATR was validated on 03 May 2010 by a Revalida Panel composed of the top Army leadership headed by the CGPA and a select group of civilian stakeholders led by Dr. Jesus P Estanislao, the Chairman of ISA. On 19 July 2010, the ATR was approved by the CGPA for implementation. An HPA Letter Directive was issued containing the policy guidelines and the concept of implementation.
In light of this, the PA has begun its journey towards the four-stage Governance Pathway that ISA has designed for its partners. After a few months of committed and serious efforts in adopting the PGS, the PA was publicly recognized by the ISA to have passed the first stage of the four-stage Governance Pathway. On 23 September 2010, the PA received the PGS Initiated Status Award before an audience composed of local and international experts in governance and strategy as well as Balanced Scorecard Hall of Famers during the Palladium Asia-Pacific Summit and Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy Awards at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
First Step of the Governance Journey
As a PGS-Initiated institution, the Army has already adopted the critical steps in adopting PGS into its systems and instituting good governance. Firstly, the PA has set its strategic direction for the next 18 years by defining its governance charter, which articulates the Army’s core values, core purpose, mandated mission, and finally the vision that the PA seeks to realize by 2028. Secondly, the PA has provided more flesh and given more heft to this governance charter by having crafted a strategy map, which outlines identifies the specific goals of the ATR and defines the interrelationships among these objectives. These objectives are organized into the five strategic perspectives of stakeholder support, logistics and finance, human resource, internal process, and constituency, and the three strategic themes, namely: good governance, organizational excellence, and operational excellence. Thirdly, in order to ensure that the Army vision is realized and the ATR strategic objectives are accomplished, the PA has developed a governance scorecard that translates the broad objectives into measurable and actionable details that facilitate strategy execution, monitoring, and evaluation. The scorecard highlights the performance measures and targets, which assess and track the success of the PA in attaining the ATR goals. Finally, the PA has already defined and identified the strategic initiatives and priorities, which when implemented, will deliver the expected breakthrough results and lead to the realization of the PA vision and the desired transformation.
Defining the Army’s Strategic Direction
The long-term strategic direction of the PA is aptly captured in the Army Governance Charter, which is composed of two major elements, namely: the core ideology and the “big, hairy, audacious goal” (BHAG) or the vision. The core ideology defines the enduring character of the PA and provides the bonding glue that holds the organization as it grows and moves forward. The Army Core Ideology expresses the fundamental ideals and principles that the Army believes in and stands for through the Army Core Values and highlights its reason for being through the Army Core purpose.
Army Core Values
- Honor, which we define to include integrity, discipline, personal dignity and self-worth;
- Patriotism, which for the PA resonates as love of country and manifests as loyalty, courage and allegiance to the Constitution; and
- Duty, which is expressed through professionalism, excellence, resourcefulness, dynamism, dedication and commitment to our sworn duty.
These three sets of values as understood by the PA and defined through their attributes are those that anyone would expect out of a professional army. However, coming up with the core values was not easy. In fact, the process was very challenging because of the intense open exchange among senior, field-grade, and junior officers; NCOs; and civilian employees which is a proof of the ardor and commitment of the PA in the formulation of the ATR.
Army Core Purpose and Mandate
This sense of dedication to the institution and country is also expressed through the Army Core Purpose, which is “serving the people, securing the land.” As part of the AFP, the PA already has a clear mandate mission as a force provider, which is “to organize, train, equip, deploy and sustain ground forces in support of the AFP mission.” The articulated Army Core Purpose goes beyond our legal mandate and digs deeper into the real reason for our existence as an Army. It also provides focus to what it should always aspire to do. The PA exists to serve the people, and it does so principally by securing our native land. This core ideology captures what we stand for and why we exist as an organization.
In essence, the Army Core Purpose and Mandate capture what we stand for and why we exist as an organization.
The Army Core Ideology also serves as a strong foundation that can be used as our launching pad for the future, for our desired destination, our BHAG. As the PA is pursuing a long-term transformation program, which starts in 2010 and ends in 2028, it envisions itself to “be a world-class army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. However, as the PA ascends towards its envisioned future, it has set up four base camps along the way that must be achieved to get closer to the 2028 Vision. By the end of 2010, the PA intends to lay the foundation for a successful transformation program. By 2013, its intermediate goal is to become “a disciplined and motivated Army capable of addressing all internal security threats.” After six years, by 2016, it expects to become “a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia.” By 2022, its 12-year intermediate goal is to become “a modern and respected Army in Asia.” And the end-goal for 2028 is to become “a world-class army that is a source of national pride.”
Army Governance Charter
On the whole, the Army Governance Charter defines and sets the strategic direction that the PA wants to pursue. It starts with the clearly defined and easy to remember core values of “Honor, Patriotism, and Duty.” It acknowledges our mandated mission which is “to organize, train, equip, deploy, and sustain ground forces in support of the AFP mission.” And it provides a sharper edge to our mission by stating our core purpose which is “serving the people, securing the land.” On such foundation, it sets forth a vision that the PA is committed to actualize: “By 2028, to become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.” However, in order to ensure the realization of this big, hairy, and audacious goal, it also identifies intermediate base camps as discussed.
Developing the Army’s Strategy Map*
The PA knows it has to transform in order to realize its intermediate vision by 2016 of becoming “a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia” and that it will have to sustain its transformation process to actualize its vision by 2028 of becoming “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.” Its recognition of such an imperative led the organization to craft a transformation roadmap, which for all practical purposes is its long-term strategy map defining the ways and means by which the envisioned transformation will be realized.
Strategic Perspectives and Questions
To be able to craft a strategic roadmap that will help the PA attain its desired end-state, the Command considered five strategic perspectives through which to assess its current challenges and future prospects as it travels towards realizing its vision in 2028. Moreover, it asked a key question in considering each of the five strategic perspectives. The following are the strategic perspectives and the strategic questions that served as a guide in the crafting of the strategic roadmap:
- The first perspective is Stakeholder Support. If by 2028 the PA will be a “source of national pride”, then it has to work hard to win the hearts and the minds of the people as well as to earn the support of the stakeholders. Hence, the question is: How can we effectively encourage stakeholder support?
- The second perspective relates to Finance and Logistics. Obviously, the PA will need more resources both financial and logistical as it works its way through towards its vision. Hence, the question is: How can we generate and effectively manage our financial and logistical resources?
- The third perspective is Human Resource which is the most important resource the PA must have. The question in this regard is: How can we develop and enhance our human resource?
- With the stakeholder support it can win and the financial, logistical, and human resources it can obtain, the fourth perspective for the organization is Internal Processes. It poses the question: What critical systems and processes must we excel at?
- And once the internal processes perspective has been duly and fully considered, the fifth perspective which is Constituency surges forth. It raises question: How can we best serve the people and attain the Army’s vision?
By raising this question, the PA shows its deep commitment to its vision: there are no ifs and buts for the organization. There is no way other than the road that leads it to its vision which is nothing less than becoming “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028.
The answers to these strategic questions basically highlight the thirteen strategic objectives (SO) that the PA must actively, aggressively, and effectively pursue. Broadly, the following are the answers to these strategic questions:
- For the Stakeholder perspective: “How can the Army effectively encourage (and win) stakeholder support?” Two clear answers came out, and these are: to “develop and communicate a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” (SO1) and to “engage and partner with key stakeholders” (SO2). The core values of “Duty, Patriotism, Honor”, which it had chiseled into its governance charter are to be taken seriously to a point where they shape and develop the Army’s “brand”. Moreover, the PA recognizes the imperative of reaching out and “engaging” key stakeholders.
- For the Finance and Logistics perspective: “How can the Army generate and effectively manage its financial and logistical resources?” The PA proposes the following: to “institutionalize good governance” (SO3), and to “adopt best practices in resource management” (SO4). These proposals bespeak of openness to adopt good and effective practices already proven and tested in other organizations and institutions. Moreover, there is explicit recognition that “institutionalization” of governance practices is the sure and tested way towards achieving sustainable breakthrough performance under all the strategic perspectives.
- For the Human Resource perspective: “How can we develop and enhance our human resource?” This question elicited three answers. They are as follows: to “recruit and retain the best and the brightest” (SO5); to “continuously build and develop the character and competence of our personnel” (SO6); and to “motivate our personnel through effective and efficient management” (SO7). All these three answers speak for themselves; but the second one does need to be highlighted since it speaks of a continuous program for raising the levels of competence as well as for shaping the character of Army personnel in line with the Army’s core values, which help develop its “brand”.
- For the Internal Processes perspective: “What critical systems and processes must we excel at?” This is the question that elicited the most answers. Four strategic objectives have thus been put forward and identified. They are: to “adopt and institutionalize best practices in management, operations and support systems” (SO8); to “build and modernize mission-essential capabilities” (SO9); to “excel in ground operations” (SO10); and to “actively support in nation-building” (SO11). The first three are crucial and are expected; the fourth needs underscoring, since it articulates the essential, positive, and subsidiary role that the PA has in nation-building. It recognizes the need to reach out to many other sectors of society, whose initiatives in nation-building it “actively supports”, and in the case of civilian authority, whose mandate for public governance it obeys.
- Finally, for the Constituency perspective: “How can we best serve the people and attain the Army’s vision?” Two answers are presented: to be “responsive to the needs of the AFP” (SO12), and to become a “professional army loved by the people” (SO13). It is clear that the PA serves the nation through the AFP, of which it is a major component; but in serving the nation, the PA imposes the added priority of being “loved by the people”. By succeeding in this, it ensures success in achieving its vision both in 2016 and in 2028.
Army Strategy Map
After providing the answers to the questions raised under each of the five strategic perspectives it considered, the PA proceeded to lay out the strategic objectives in a way that immediately shows their close interconnections as illustrated in the chart following.
At the onset, the two strategic objectives under the perspective of “stakeholder support” are shown at the bottom, with immediate connection to the two strategic objectives under the second perspective of “finance and logistics”. In this way, the PA wishes to show that its pursuit of the strategic objectives of “engaging with key stakeholders” and “developing a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” would facilitate the efforts it will be exerting towards “institutionalizing good governance” and “adopting best practices in resource management” for the purpose of generating sufficient financial and logistical resources. With sufficient funds, the PA will then be able to enhance its human resources by “recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest”, “motivating its personnel through efficient and effective management”, and “continuously developing the character and the competence of its personnel.” By clearly pointing to the close connections between several strategic objectives, the Army comes up with its strategy map.
The strategy map is further drawn by indicating the connection between the other strategic priorities under “human resource” and the first strategic priority under “internal processes”. The Army shows its conviction that by “motivating its personnel” and by “continuously developing the character and competence of its personnel” it would be led to “institutionalizing best practices in management, operations and support systems”. This, in turn, would help it to pursue the three other strategic objectives under the “internal processes” perspective, namely: “build and modernize mission-essential capabilities”; “excel in ground operations”; and “actively support nation-building initiatives” of other sectors. Thus, even the strategic objectives within the same perspective can—and do—support each other; they positively reinforce each other such that success in one can lead to eventual success in pursuing the other strategic objectives as well.
The Army also shows in its transformation roadmap that success in pursuing all the strategic objectives under the first four priorities would help bring about success relative to the two remaining strategic objectives under the topmost perspective, “constituency”. It is by actively pursuing the 11 strategic objectives under the four preceding perspectives that the PA can look towards succeeding in becoming “responsive to the needs of the AFP” and in being “loved by the people”. This is what the transformation road map does: it sends very clear signals that by focusing on the 11 strategic objectives and by vigorously pursuing them, the Army can best serve the AFP and the entire nation. In the process, it would end up becoming a “professional Army loved by the people”. This final strategic objective may at first look too ideal to be within grasp even by 2028; but the transformation roadmap gives some assurance that difficult as the road ahead may be, still it is not impossible to travel on it and eventually reach the final milestone since the different strategic objectives, by their connection, present many opportunities for a domino effect: succeed in one or a few, and success in other objectives would be much easier to achieve.
Moreover, the strategy map points to three strategic themes under which the most closely interconnected objectives across the different perspectives can be grouped. Six of the eleven objectives under the first four perspectives can be grouped together under the strategic theme, “organizational excellence”. On the other hand, six of the same eleven objectives can be grouped under another strategic theme, “good governance” while eight of the same 11 objectives can be grouped under another strategic theme, “operational excellence”. Consequently, it is clear that a few of the eleven objectives are included in more than one strategic theme. For instance, “developing a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” and “continuously developing the character and the competence of its personnel” are in two strategic themes while “institutionalizing best practices in management, operations, and support systems” is included in all three strategic themes.
The completed Army Strategy Map shows that all eleven strategic objectives under the first four perspectives lead to the top-line strategic priorities of being “responsive to the needs of the AFP” and becoming a “professional Army loved by the people” under the “constituency” perspective. Furthermore, the first of these falls under the “operational excellence” theme, and the second under all three themes of “operational excellence”, “organizational excellence”, and “good governance”.
Ensuring Strategy Execution
The Army Strategy Map visually captures the principles and goals of the transformation program of the PA. It identifies the critical factors and the key questions that must be addressed. Conceptually, it illustrates the cause-and-effect relationship of the strategic objectives and describes the story on how the PA will be able to realize its vision to become “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. However, in order to make certain that the PA attain its goals, the PA developed its own performance governance scorecard.
Performance Governance Scorecard
The Army’s Performance Governance Scorecard is a performance measurement mechanism translating the strategic objectives into measures, targets, initiatives, and milestones. It is composed of performance measures which assess and track the success of attaining the strategic objectives; performance targets which outline the level of performance or the rate of improvement needed; and the strategic initiatives which are key programs and projects that must be implemented to attain the strategic objectives and eventually the vision. It will ensure the execution of the strategy map and will advance the principles of good governance and performance excellence because of the following:
- It will be enable objective monitoring and reporting of performance based on the specified goals, indicators and targets, which can be validated publicly.
- It will promote transparency and accountability in the fulfillment of its mandate and the performance targets the PA has committed to reach.
Performance Measures and Targets
Under the PA’s performance governance scorecard, 21 measures are used outlined in order to monitor and evaluate the success of the PA in attaining the goals underscored in the ATR. Organized by strategic objectives, they are as follows:
- For SO1 – “Develop and communicate a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values”, the measure is “Net Trust Rating” which monitors the level of perceived trust the general public has on the PA. This rating indicates whether the PA is able to live up to its core values, thus, is able to get the trust of its constituencies. The target for 2028 is a “Net Trust Rating” of 80%.
- For SO2 – “Engage and partner with key stakeholders”, three performance indicators are used. These are the “growth rate of formalized partnerships with key stakeholders”, the “growth rate of completed projects with key stakeholders”, and the “growth rate of resources generated through partnerships with key stakeholders.” These measures indicate the progress by which the PA is able to positively and constructively work with its stakeholders. The target by 2028 is to grow by three-fold the engagements and the outcome of these engagements.
- For SO3 – “Institutionalize good governance”, the performance measure is the “number of COA negative findings.” This indicator reflects the success of the PA in encouraging good governance practices and in following accounting and auditing requirements. The PA intends to continuously reduce the “number of COA negative findings” to 6 by 2028.
- For SO4 – “Adopt best practices in resource management”, three measures are used. First is the “absorptive capacity” which pertains to the ability of the PA to timely obligate and utilize programmed funds, thus using available resources effectively and efficiently. By 2028, the PA seeks to increase its “absorptive capacity” to 99% from 98.35% in 2010. Second is the “percentage of supported activities out of the General Appropriations Act.” The ability to financially support the PA’s activities out of its budget shows best practices in resource management. The PA aims to increase the percentage of supported activities out of the General Appropriations Act” to 99% by 2028. Thirdly, the Army will develop the “Logistics Performance Index” which measures the ability of the PA to immediately respond to the logistical needs of PA units. It has the following parameters: right quality and right quantity at the right place and at the right time. The target for 2028 is a “Logistics Performance Index” of 3.5.
- For SO5 – “Recruit and retain the best and the brightest”, two indicators are used. Firstly, the PA will adopt the “Quality Recruit Index” which intends to quantitatively measure the general quality of those entering the Army. The 2028 target is an average QRI of 95% by 2028. And second is the “attrition rate of competent personnel” which measures percentage of qualified and competent who are voluntarily leaving the service. For 2028, the target is to reduce the “attrition rate of competent personnel” to 1%.
- For SO6 – “Continuously build and develop the character and the competence of our personnel”, one measure for competence and another measure for character are used. For competence, the performance indicator is “Individual Training Readiness” (ITR) which assesses the level of preparedness of the individual vis-à-vis the required competencies of his current position. The PA hopes to attain an ITR of 98% (R1) by 2028. As for character, the measure is the “percentage reduction of disciplinary cases” which will indicate the overall state of discipline in the Army. The PA hopes to see by 2028 a 90% reduction in the number of disciplinary cases from the 1,785 disciplinary cases in 2010.
- For SO7 – “Motivate our personnel through efficient and effective management”, the measure is “Personnel Satisfaction Index”. This measure monitors the level of perceived satisfaction of personnel with regard to compensations, placements, promotions, non-monetary benefits, awards and recognitions, and schoolings and trainings. The target for 2028 is a Personnel Satisfaction Index of 4.5.
- For SO8 – “Adopt and institutionalize best practices in management, operations, and support system”, the performance indicator is the “Doctrine Development throughput time” or the total amount of time spent in developing a doctrine (from conceptualization to promulgation of manuals). The efficiency in doctrine development will facilitate the adoption and institutionalization of best practices in management, operations, and support system. By 2028, the PA seeks to reduce the doctrine development throughput time to 365 days from 3,248 days in 2010.
- For SO9 – “Build and modernize mission-essential capabilities”, the measure is the “percentage of battalions which completed the Battalions of Excellence (BOE) Program.” The BOE Program seeks to build-up and modernization of mission-essential capabilities of Army battalions. Thus, chosen indicator will measure will enable the PA to assess the success of its modernization program. The PA aims to have 100% of its battalions to undergo the BOE Program.
10. For SO10 – “Excel in ground operations”, the PA is measuring this by looking at the “operational readiness of combat and combat support units.” By 2028, the target operational readiness for these units, which are primarily involved in combat operations, is 95% (R1).
11. For SO11 – “Actively support nation-building”, the PA is measuring this by looking at the “operational readiness of engineers” as well as the “personnel and training readiness of ready reserve units”, who are considered as agents of peace and supporters of nation-building. For both measures, the target for 2028 is an operational readiness of 95% (R1).
12. For SO12 – “Responsive to the needs of the AFP”, the measures are “Overall Operational Readiness”, which will show the level of preparedness of the whole PA, and “Performance Evaluation Rating”, which will point out the effectiveness and efficiency of the PA in the performance of its mandated tasks. By 2028, the PA intends to attain a 95% (R1) “Overall Operational Readiness” and a 96% “Performance Evaluation Rating”.
13. Finally, for SO13 – “Professional army loved by the people”, the performance measure is “Net Satisfaction Rating”, which monitors the level of perceived satisfaction the general public has on the PA’s quality of service. A higher “Net Satisfaction Rating” shows the dedication, passion, and professionalism of the Army in providing effective, efficient, and excellent service to its constituency, which will consequently improve the relationship between the Army and the Filipino people. The target for 2028 is a Net Satisfaction Rating of 80%.
In essence, the afore-cited performance measures and targets will help to monitor and assess the progress of the PA in achieving the thirteen strategic objectives and in realizing the envisioned 2028 end-state. In order to ensure that these goals are attained, however, the PA identified the following fifteen strategic initiatives as the priority programs and projects to be implemented for the next medium-term (2011-2016):
- Army Capability Development Program – This strategic initiative intends to come up and to institutionalize a capability planning system that addresses the capability development needs of the Philippine Army. This initiative will be anchored on the Defense Department’s Defense System of Management as it intends to develop a medium-term capability development plan. The expected deliverables of this project are the following: a strategic assessment and planning framework for the Army; a capability assessment framework; a force structure development framework; a proposed force structure for the Army for the next medium-term; and a proposed capability development plan incorporating the current Capability Upgrade Program.
- Enhancement of the Army Logistics System – This strategic initiative intends to develop an effective, efficient, responsive, and timely logistics support system. Also, this initiative intends to improve not only the logistics process but also the logistics structure. In addition, this initiative intends to develop the Army Logistics Performance Index that will facilitate the assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and timeliness of logistics support to field units.
- Institutionalization of the Army Resource Management System – This strategic initiative aims to establish an effective resource management system that will not only promote efficient planning, programming, and budget execution system but will also promote accountability, fairness, and transparency. This initiative also seeks to institutionalize the implementation of the Defense Resource Management System under the Defense System of Management in the PA. Further, this program will find ways and means of generating additional funds, over and above the General Appropriations Acts, in order to support the implementation of the programs and projects needed to attain the 2028 Vision.
- 4. Enhancement of the Doctrine Development System – This project seeks to improve its capability to develop the needed doctrines to support its operational requirements. In this light, it will pursue the improvement of the doctrine development process, the completion of its Doctrine Development Roadmap that intends to update and to prioritize the list of doctrines that need to be developed, and the organization of an Army Lessons Learned Center to enhance the organization’s doctrine research capability. Furthermore, this initiative seeks to transform Doctrine Center from an administrator of project management teams to a research capable unit with competence in the conduct of different research methodologies that will speed up the doctrine development throughput time.
- Enhancement of the PA Education and Training Management System – This program intends to establish a responsive education and training system capable of building and developing the competence of PA personnel and units comparable to Southeast Asian Armies. This initiative intends to raise the overall training readiness of the institution for both individual training and unit training. This initiative will involve making substantial investments in education and training equipment and facilities.
- Battalion of Excellence Program – The BOE Program seeks to improve the operational capability of Infantry and SOCOM Battalions. Since these units are the PA’s cutting-edge units in internal security operations, pursuing the BOE Program will have a great impact on the operational readiness of the PA and on the success of the ATR. The PA seeks to train nine Infantry Battalions and three SOCOM Battalions within the next six years and to transform these units to be combat proficient; doctrine-based; equipped with mission-essential equipment, relevant unit and individual trainings, and sustainable mission essential systems; and manned by suitable personnel.
- Enhancement of the Army Inspector General System – This strategic initiative aims to improve the way the PA monitors and evaluates the readiness and performance of its operating units. Further, it intends to formulate, review, and revise the existing directives, policies, and regulations as well as to acquire mission-essential equipment for all Inspector General Offices.
- Army Character Development Program – This program intends to enhance the state of discipline in the PA. This initiative will require the advocacy on respect for human rights; the creation of Integrated Counseling Committee and Military Values Education Program; the development of a Mentoring and Character Development Manual; the enhancement of military discipline through the Military Justice System; the institutionalization of gender and development awareness as well as promotion of gender equality; and the uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of policies pertaining to discipline, law, and order.
- Enhancement of the Army International Defense and Security Engagement (IDSE) Program – The PA needs to actively reach out to its international allies and partners. In view of this, this strategic initiative aims to have purposive engagements with the institution’s foreign allies and partners, to optimize the benefits from these engagements, and to develop a medium-term PA IDSE Program. Consequently, the expected deliverables of this initiative are the following: the establishment of engagement plans for ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, and beyond Asia-Pacific Armies; and the formalization of partnerships with ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, and beyond Asia-Pacific Armies.
10. Stakeholders Engagement Program – This strategic initiative intends to actively reach out and to engage its stakeholders through an effective communication plan and a proactive stakeholder engagement framework in order to generate critical support from the PA’s internal and external audiences. In light of this, the ancillary initiatives include the formulation of an ATR communications plan, the development of a proactive stakeholders plan, and the administration of surveys which will serve as tools in measuring the institution’s performance in civil military operations and contribution to nation-building.
- 11. Army Intelligence Capability Development Program – This program aims to develop and enhance the intelligence capability of the PA in order to effectively respond to the operational needs of the institution. This initiative will cover the acquisition of intelligence mission-essential equipment, the development of competent and highly motivated leaders and personnel, the development of intelligence doctrines, the enhancement of organizational structures, and the improvement of intelligence facilities.
12. Enhancement of the PA Health Service Support System – This strategic initiative intends to develop a responsive health service support system that will uplift the morale of personnel especially those in the field. Furthermore, this initiative aims to upgrade the capabilities of medical and dental treatment facilities, formulate a doctrine for the PA Health Service Support System, develop an effective and standard recruitment program for health service personnel, and develop a comprehensive mental health program.
13. Network Infrastructure Development Program. This initiative seeks to improve the information systems infrastructure in order to enhance the various management and operations processes and systems of the Philippine Army.
14. Enhancement of the Reserve Force Development Program – This program seeks to institutionalize a comprehensive Reserve Force Build-Up in line with the goals of the ATR. This initiative will focus on the development of the Reserve Manpower, the enhancement of the Reservists Management and Information System, and the improvement of the Reservists Capability and Pre-Reservist Training Centers.
15. Expansion of the Army Housing Program – This program intends to uplift the morale and welfare of personnel by expanding the PA’s on-base and off-base housing program. Moreover, this initiative intends to provide a total of 951 units for on-base housing and 17,879 lots for off-base housing by 2016; solicit funds worth Php 889,450,000.00 for the construction of 17,879 Kawal Kalinga housing projects; rationalize the policy on the selection of beneficiaries of the housing program; and increase the housing allowance of personnel.
Overall, the elements of the Army Performance Governance Scorecard discussed above establishes the inter-relationship between the principles, concepts and aspirations defined in the governance charter and the strategy map with the specific operational details and actions required to realize and bring to fruition those goals and aspirations. By adhering to its roadmap and governance scorecard, the Army should be persevering and systematic in implementing its strategic initiatives that will enable it to meet all the targets it is setting as it seeks to transform itself into a “world-class Army that is a source of national pride”.
Implementing the Army Transformation Roadmap
Being a comprehensive transformation program, pursuing the ATR has not been a walk in the park. It has been a great challenge. It requires determination, hard work, and perseverance to implement changes in the PA. However, because of active and continuous advocacy, the ATR has gained the commitment and support of the Army leadership as well as majority of the PA’s internal stakeholders. Through the conduct of the following activities, the ATR has obtained enough traction to push for the desired changes:
- Organized the ATR Technical Working Group (ATRTWG) comprising of representatives from the key staff of the CGPA. The ATRTWG is a mechanism to enhance the coordination among the program directors and the various staff of the Headquarters Philippine Army (HPA) in order to hasten the successful implementation of the ATR. The ATRTWG also serves as the subject-matter experts in regards to the PGS and the ATR.
- Conducted various seminars and workshops in strategy development, strategy implementation, project management and performance measurement involving the members of the ATRTWG and selected personnel of the HPA functional staff.
- Participated in important HPA-sponsored fora like the Battalion Commanders Symposia, Company Commanders Seminars and NCO Leaders Symposia in order to promote greater awareness on the ATR and generate support for its implementation.
- Took part in the crafting of the PA support plan to the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan, the formulation of the Army’s Annual Operating Program, and the development of the 2011 operating budget.
- Developed the draft project management plans of the identified 15 ATR strategic initiatives to ensure that these key projects are carried out well.
- Conducted a cascading workshop for the key HPA staff in order to align their respective functions and goals to those underscored in the ATR, develop secondary governance scorecards as well as advance greater understanding and appreciation of the ATR.
- Conducted a workshop to initiate the organization of a multi-sector governance council, a mechanism that will advance the principles of transparency and accountability and help promote the continuity and sustainability of the ATR.
As a result of these activities, the PA gained enough momentum to pursue the Army’s goals and aspirations highlighted in the ATR. Specifically, the PA was able to publish policy directives to guide the execution of PGS in the PA and implementation of the ATR; hastened coordination among HPA staff in regards to ATR implementation, and developed the competencies of personnel involved in the ATR. More importantly, the initial implementation of the ATR enabled the alignment of the current operational priorities with the medium-term capability development priorities and long-term strategic direction of the command as outlined in the ATR. It has also facilitated the execution and institutionalization of defense reform initiatives like the PDR and DSOM. Furthermore, through the ATR-related activities conducted, the PA was also able to develop a program and budget that supports the transformation initiative and focuses on the implementation of the identified strategic priorities.
Sustaining and Institutionalizing the Army Transformation Roadmap
In light of the foregoing, it is apparent that the ATR has gained a significant ground in so far as its formulation and initial execution are concerned. The challenge, however, is to make sure that the ATR will not remain on paper only but will be realized as the bible of strategy execution for the envisioned PA-wide transformation.
To guarantee the successful and sustained implementation of the ATR, the PA intends to undertake the following:
- Pursue the PGS Compliance Stage, the second stage of the four-stage Governance Pathway, in order to attain alignment in the goals and thrusts of the ATR with the expectations of the various PA internal and external stakeholders;
- Finalize the second-level scorecards of the HPA staff and institutionalize its adoption and execution by involving the Army Inspector General in the monitoring of these governance scorecards;
- Conduct ATR Cascading Workshops with 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;
- Execute the ATR strategic initiatives and link these initiatives to the planning, programming, and budgeting process of the PA;
- Pursue the ATR advocacy and information campaign in accordance with the ATR Communications Plan in order to generate wider appreciation, understanding, commitment, and support for the ATR;
- Pursue the establishment of a Multi-Sector Governance Council which will help the PA to promote the continuity and sustainability of the ATR and to encourage shared responsibility in the success of the ATR;
- Install mechanisms and systems to monitor the implementation of the ATR and the performance of the PA, manage the performance governance scorecards, and supervise the execution of the ATR strategic initiatives;
- Build-up the capacity of the PA to execute the ATR through the establishment of a dedicated office or unit that will manage and supervise the implementation of the ATR and the adoption of the PGS in the PA, which can come in the form of an “Office for Strategy Management’; and
- In light of the recent guidance of the new Chief of Staff, AFP to institutionalize genuine reforms through the formulation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap, the Command shall actively participate in the development of the said roadmap and shall link and align with the ATR the proposed AFP roadmap.
Faced with the challenge of rebuilding a more cohesive military institution attuned to good governance and performance excellence, there is no more opportune time to start the transformation than now – to build a world-class Philippine Army that can truly be a source of national pride for all Filipinos.
The PA has put countless efforts in crafting the Army Transformation Roadmap. However, the completion of the transformation framework is only an indication that the real work is just starting. The entire process of completing one loop that will bring about reaping breakthrough results takes at least three to four years in practice. Hence, a lot of things have to be done and everyone has to do their own share in promoting good governance and performance excellence and in attaining good the 2028 Vision.
In sum, the Army Transformation Roadmap is a governance framework that seeks to transform the current systems and processes, and integrate and synchronize our current programs and activities in order to attain our desired end-state or vision to be a “world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. The ATR provides focus to all our activities in relation to our new vision. Since our vision is quite bold and ambitious, it challenges us “to do the right things the best way we can.” However, we recognize that implementing the ATR and PGS is a very great challenge. In order to realize the Army 2028 vision, we need the commitment not only of the Army leadership but also the strong support of our key external and internal stakeholders.
- A substantial portion of this article is based on a series of articles featured in the Manila Bulletin’s Swimming Against the Current column of Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao and published in the January – June 2010 issue of the Army Journal. In fact, the section on “Developing the Army Strategy Map” of this article is a direct quote from Dr. Estanislao’s article. The author has obtained the expressed permission of Dr. Estanislao for these quotes.
- This article is also largely based on the presentations, outputs, and discussions of the various working sessions of the ATRTWG and those facilitated by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.