Philippines - Much of the military’s time that was supposed to be used
for combat training are being diverted to roles of civilian agencies
that could not perform their tasks, a magazine of the Philippine Air
Force (PAF) said.
An article of the magazine “The Air Force Way” released over the
weekend said the military’s role has expanded partly because of the
inability of many civilian agencies to perform their mandate.
The article said the military is performing the functions of these
agencies even if support to civilian bodies is just secondary to the
core function of war fighting.
“In reality, much of the time and activities that should have been
devoted to combat training and preparation are being used to fulfill
these (civilian agencies’ roles) tasks,” the magazine article read.
“One needs only to read AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines)
anniversary programs or yearly reports to see this trend,” it added.
The “Air Force Way” magazine was published to commemorate the 65th
anniversary of the PAF. Copies of the magazine were distributed by the
PAF to journalists last Friday.
The AFP is performing civilian tasks like medical missions, school
construction and clean-up projects due to its internal security plan
“Bayanihan” which took effect in 2011.
The PAF article said critical combat capabilities “have been lost or
transformed into capabilities that are oriented towards supporting
civilians and not soldiers.”
“Such diversion of missions and capabilities had given rise to a
situation wherein people in the military no longer considered themselves
as warriors,” the article read.
“Instead, they perceived themselves as policemen, relief workers,
educators, builders, health care providers, politicians – everything but
war fighters,” it added.
The article noted that the AFP does not have a combat engineering capability but has several civil engineering brigades.
The magazine article also noted the seeming lack of interest in military theory and history within the AFP.
It claimed that there is scarcity of studies on these subjects even in AFP General Staff Courses.
“Yet ironically, foreign armed forces have seen more value in
Philippine military history by thoroughly studying it than, with rare
exceptions, their Filipino counterparts,” the PAF article read.
The magazine article said the military seems to have no inclination
to develop a program to systematically collate, organize, and analyze
It noted that majority of AFP officers have preference for courses
like business or public administration despite the fact that civilian
institutions have already offered courses in military-related subjects.
The PAF article said the AFP should address the issue of military
professionalism “by returning to its traditional or war fighting roots.”
“After all, the ultimate test of (a) military professional is whether
he or she can prevail in war over an adversary. These could be one and
would reflect in training, indoctrination and the education of the
personnel,” it read.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alexis Romero | The Philippine Star | July 9, 2012 | Article Link