By Mario Casayuran
Senator Aqullino Pimentel III sought Tuesday a reduction in the prohibition on the promotion of key military officers from less than one year to less than nine months before their mandatory retirement at the age of 56.
Pimentel said he filed Senate Bill No. 1045, known as the Act Amending the Grade Distribution in the Active Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, because he thought the current regulation was unfair to military officers who deserved to be promoted for their hard work and service to the country.
Under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8186, officers holding key positions are limited to a maximum tenure of three years unless they shall be relieved from their posts or retired.
These include the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, AFP deputy chief of staff or major service commanders.
Except for the AFP chief of staff, no officer shall be assigned or promoted to Brigadier General/Commodore or higher if he has one year of active service before his retirement.
Pimentel said nine months should be sufficient time for the officers to show to the nation that their promotions are well deserved and beneficial to the country.
“We should be willing to relax and shorten the one-year period. It is too long to disable an able military officer from achieving his dream which is within his or her reach based on merit, track record and achievements,” Pimentel said.
“It might also be a good time to review the wisdom of the length of the prohibition, if not the imposition of the prohibition itself,” he added.
Military officers are still relatively young, active and productive when they reach the compulsory retirement age. They have shown to be motivated as they end their military career as they were when they started, he pointed out.