BECAUSE of growing threats to national security, an official of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday said the military needs to recruit 10,000 more soldiers.
This has long been the request of the AFP, according to Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, and President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go-signal to recruit the needed soldiers.
“[We really need this number because our number is not enough for our present requirements, for our present engagements),” he noted.
“[The bottomline is, there are increasing threats to national security but commensurately, there is no addition to the strength and capability of the Armed Forces. That is why the thrust in recent years is AFP modernization and next is additional number of personnel to match these growing threats to national security,” Arevalo said.
Budget allocation for the recruitment of the 10,000 soldiers, the AFP official added, is being worked out.
“It will entail additional cost so funding would necessarily follow,” Arevalo said.
The President earlier acknowledged the need to add military and police forces to Mindanao to help the government’s fight against urban terrorism.
On Monday, the AFP made a self-imposed deadline of six months to until the end of 2017 to finish off the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group, Maute group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. FERNAN MARASIGAN