Upholding the AFP Transformation Roadmap (AFPTR)

talaroc-150x150Commandant’s Corner

When I was appointed as the Governance and Strategy Management Office (GSMO) Chief for the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CRSAFP), my mind started racing and I immediately thought of how, in my own humble way and through this new task assignment, I could contribute in the quest of the AFP to achieve its 2028 Vision to be a world class organization that is a source of national pride. I gladly accepted the challenge as I believed it also offered new opportunities. The initial apprehension turned into excitement that prodded me to coordinate with the right people from the Office of the Special Studies and Strategy Management (OSSSM), where right now, the CRSAFP is leading up to the challenge by immediately conducting a seminar/workshop attended by key Officers and Enlisted Personnel regarding Scorecard Development.

The principles and end-results of the AFPTR are achievable, albeit requiring a lot of efforts because it “highlights the AFP’s commitment to pursue a genuine transformation program founded on good governance and performance excellence.” I find it very appropriate; just what the AFP needs as it accentuates “a comprehensive approach in pursuing reforms and covers all facets of the organization – from personnel, to resource management, to internal processes and systems, and to mission accomplishments and outcomes.”

I see the AFPTR as a substantial legacy to the future soldiers of our nation; and it gives me great pride in being part of cascading the pillar of discipline and cornerstone of modernization. Knowing that all the time, effort and energy that would be spent working will result in a well-rounded soldier that will validate the AFP as a relevant organization, makes me excited about all the tasks that we need to undertake. But having said this, I also recognize that from today until 2028, and in accomplishing all the hallmarks, a lot of challenges, concerns and conflicts could arise. But I am a believer of the principle that if we want to achieve something, we would always find a way, in the same manner that if we are not serious in our quest to succeed, we would just resort to reasoning and dilly-dallying. In Filipino, “Kung gusto, Maraming paraan, Kung ayaw Maraming dahilan.”

I recently came across a Chinese quotation that I believe is relevant to the dissemination of the AFPTR which says:

“A ruler exercising benevolence and justice will surely win the support and help of most people; if he fails to do so, the people will be absolved of all loyalty to him.” These are words from Mencius, a philosopher during the Warring States Period.

My understanding of this is that a leader who does not act properly nor practice the right ethics should not expect loyalty from his people. Only a leader who practices what he preaches would gain the support of the people under his command. If he fails to treat them fairly and well, they are no longer duty-bound to follow him. Subordinates are not expected to show loyalty to a leader who does not possess the attitude and action that is worthy of their support and cooperation. In the case of the AFPTR, it is expected that the officers would guide their men in living up to the expectations, but if this does not happen, the men should not to follow a wayward officer but rather, live the standards of the AFPTR on their own accord. In short, leaders should “Walk the Talk”.

To me, the success of AFPTR lies in each and every soldier’s commitment to imbibe and seriously live up to the principles and discipline embodied in the program. If everyone – whether Officer or Enlisted Personnel or Civilian Employee – would adhere wholeheartedly to the AFPTR, we are assured of an AFP that is truly a source of national pride even before 2028.