Fixed terms for high-ranking AFP officers, increase in retirement age of generals, signed into law

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THE government has set a fixed term for high-ranking officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and likewise increased the mandatory retirement age of generals and flag officers.

The objective is to increase the level of professionalism in the organization by strengthening the merit system and to give opportunity to new leaders by giving them a longer period of service to implement reforms that would help create a better AFP.

Under Republic Act 11709 that was released today by Malacañang but signed into law in April 13 by President Rodrigo Duterte, the tour of duty of the AFP Chief of Staff, Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, commanding generals of the Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force, Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy, unified command commanders and Inspector General, will now be up to three years.

The tour of duty of the mentioned officials will start on the date of their appointment up to three years, except if it will be terminated by the President of the Philippines, or if these officers are not eligible for other positions within the AFP, not unless they are promoted to Chief of Staff.

A general or flag officer to be designated as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) will have a four-year tour of duty, except if this will be terminated by a higher-ranked officer in the AFP.

The PMA Superintendent will not be eligible to occupy any position in the AFP and should retire upon completion of his fixed tour of duty.

No general or flag officer whose age is more than 58 years old will be designated as PMA superintendent.

Meanwhile, the law will not allow the extension of the tour of duty of the officers mentioned, unless during a time of war and other national emergencies as may be declared by Congress, and may be extended by the President of the Philippines.

Under the law, AFP officers whose grades are second lieutenant, or ensign up to colonel or captain, and has reached the age of 56 or have already rendered 30 years of active duty, whichever comes first, should already retire from active service.

Also included are officers such as Brigadier General, Commodore up to Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral should already retire upon reaching the age of 59 years old.

Also, commissioned officers and those assigned to the corps of professors should also retire when they reach the age of 60 years old or have completed 20 years of active duty.

As for enlisted personnel, they should retire once they have rendered 30 years of active duty or have reached the age of 56, whichever comes first.

However, an officer or enlisted personnel may ask for early retirement after rendering not less than 20 years of active duty but should be upon the approval of the president or the secretary of the Department of National Defense, AFP Chief of Staff, or major sevice commander.

Also under the new law, officers and enlisted personnel shall be retired one rank higher from the last position or rank held.

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