• Women’s Auxiliary Corps unmanned after 50 years

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    THE Office of the Women’s Auxilliary Corps (WAC) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been officially closed after 50 years of existence as an administrative arm of the military.

    Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, chief, Public Affairs Office (PAO), AFP, on Friday said that WAC equipment and other facilities were transferred to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics or J4, while its 14 officers and 595 active enlisted personnel will be integrated to the major or technical service of their choice

    During the unmanning ceremony held yesterday at the AFP General Headquarters building conference room, the flag of the WAC was symbolically unfurled marking its conclusion.

    WAC chief, Col. Yolanda Joaquin said: “The flag of the Corps may now be folded and encased but as to whether it will be unfurled once more or consigned permanently as a relic of the rich history of the AFP, only time and subsequent developments can tell.”

    Legally, the WAC could not yet be deactivated as long as Republic Act (RA) 3895, as amended, remains thus the unmanning of the office and the integration of its personnel to other units or major services of the AFP.

    The AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal explained that the closure of the WAC office did not symbolize the diminishing value of women in the military but instead, elevated their status in the armed service as equal partners of men in national development.

    “As such, they are no longer confined in only performing technical, administrative and non-combat roles but have extended their horizon to field duty assignments,” Macapagal said.

    The WAC was established in 1963 by virtue of RA 3835, which instated the corps in the AFP to provide the procurement of its officers and enlisted personnel, and other purposes.

    The first chief of the WAC was retired Col. Eufrecinia Alfonso.

    It was founded by Josefa Borromeo Capistrano who first organized in Mindanao the Women’s Auxillary Service, a group of Filipina soldiers who nursed wounded revolutionaries and were also given tasks to lure American forces to the traps of the Filipino freedom fighters.

    The Corps then went from deactivation in 1996 to a successful reactivation in March 2010.

    The unmanning of WAC is pursuant to the Defense Planning Guidance 2014-2019, which deactivates AFP-Wide Service Support and Separate Units, and GHQ, AFP technical and administrative staffs duplicating roles, missions and functions of the Major Services.

    William B. Depasupil

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