Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. formally assumed his post on Wednesday, vowing to further improve and modernize the Department of National Defense (DND) and pursue the ongoing capability upgrade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Teodoro, who was appointed on Monday, succeeded DND Officer-in-Charge Carlito Galvez Jr., who has held the post for months following the resignation of Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr., a retired chief of staff of the AFP.
The DND and the military accorded Teodoro with arrival honors before he held a news briefing with military reporters, where he unveiled some of his programs for the DND and its line agencies, including the military.
“One goal is to build up the capabilities of the Department of National Defense proper. As a manager, my first job is to manage the whole institution itself, I want to help to lay the foundation for a Department of National Defense for our future, to develop expertise in program management, analytics, prediction, other capabilities, contracting, international relations and to build up the career track of our own employees,” he said.
“We must remember that this is a civilian department. We are here to support, of course, the largest agency is the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the four other agencies under our watch,” he added.
Teodoro said he will support and pursue the modernization program of the military, principally by working for its funding.
“There are already set Horizons for that that they have set for the incoming year, we will continue to lobby Congress for that and for more funds,” he said.
Teodoro said he would ensure that the military will get the best assets and equipment “at the most affordable cost with the most sustainability as possible.”
The defense chief will also work for the military’s transitioning into territorial defense posture from internal, given the decline of internal threats and the existence of territorial challenges, while attending to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief.
“The first marching order of the President to me is to work with our legislative partners and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to continue…to find a sustainable MUP [military, uniformed personnel pension] scheme,” Teodoro said.
Image credits: pco.gov.ph