MANILA - The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a measure strengthening professionalism and promoting the continuity of policies and modernization initiatives within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
With 184 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and no abstention, the chamber passed on third reading House Bill 10521, which will provide fixed terms for officials holding senior positions and ranks in the AFP.
It aims to professionalize the AFP by strengthening the merit system and to eliminate the "revolving door" accommodation promotions and create a new culture of excellence in leadership and accountability in the military.
The bill proposes a fixed tour of duty of three years for the chief of staff, vice chief of staff, the deputy chief of staff, as well as the commanding generals of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force, united command commanders, and the inspector general.
The bill states that the fixed tour of duty can be terminated by the President.
It also proposes to adjust the compulsory retirement age for military personnel in the grades of brigadier general/commodore to lieutenant general/vice admiral, upon reaching the age of 59 or the maximum tenure-in-grade, whichever comes earlier.
The bill provides that retirement benefits shall be based on the permanent grade last held, which would apply only to new entrants.
The Senate has already approved a similar measure in September. (PNA)