Go urges win-win solution on AFP issues

Senator and Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense Christopher “Bong” Go renewed his call for a “win-win solution” that would resolve the issues regarding Republic Act 11709, a law which establishes a fixed term and retirement age for some officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“We had a meeting in the Senate recently and I am for a win-win solution,” said Go in an ambush interview after personally providing aid to flood victims in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental last Thursday.

Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. previously acknowledged during a Senate hearing that there are rumblings regarding the new law within the military. But he made it clear that the “rumblings” are concerns raised by some soldiers who are negatively affected by the law.

In July of last year, RA 11709, also known as the Act Strengthening Professionalism in the AFP, went into effect. Its goal is to improve continuity in leadership and avoid military chiefs serving for a brief period of time before mandatory retirement.

Galvez said that the law nonetheless had an impact on some soldiers’ morale because it may prevent the promotion of about 135,000 enlisted personnel. Officers from the rank of private to first chief master sergeant, according to him, could be impacted.

Given this, Go expressed his full support to the armed forces and assured them that he will continue to find ways to help address their concerns. In a manifestation delivered on Tuesday, 17 January during a hearing conducted by the Committee on National Defense, Go said that in order for the nation to have a secure and stable armed forces, they must receive the support they need.

Revisit policies
Go said that the government must strive to keep up with the proposals and recommendations from the military and uniformed personnel, and revisit policies so that they will remain responsive to the needs of the military and will also promote growth and career development within its ranks.

Earlier, Go also filed Senate Bill 4224 which seeks to provide free legal assistance to the country’s uniformed personnel.

The senator emphasized the importance of ensuring that there are sufficient funds to provide adequate legal assistance to the military and police in their line of duty.

Meanwhile, Go, a firm advocate for bringing public health services closer to Filipinos in need, commended the Department of Health and the local government of Guinsiliban, Camiguin as it held a successful groundbreaking of the town’s Super Health Center Thursday.

In his video message, Go, who heads the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, maintained that he will always prioritize and support initiatives that will create better access to health services, especially to disadvantaged communities in the grassroots.

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