Following his confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA) Wednesday, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. highlighted the need to modernize the organization he is leading and leverage the country’s security partnerships in promoting the Philippines’ national interests.
He made this comment during the deliberation of the Committee on National Defense of the CA.
“The intensity of the need to focus on protecting our sovereignty and sovereign rights is paramount in the global race for resources and influence. (There is a) need for cognizance of sovereignty and sovereign rights. We need to principally use politics and diplomacy, backed up by a strong backbone of a strategic defense posture,” Teodoro stressed.
The CA on Wednesday unanimously confirmed the ad interim appointment of Teodoro as the DND chief during the committee deliberation at the House of Representatives and the plenary session at the Senate of the Philippines.
Members of the CA recognized Teodoro’s experience, leadership, expertise, and dedication to steer the DND and achieve a balance between maintaining internal security and strengthening the external defense of the Philippines.
When asked on his policy direction as the head of the DND, Teodoro envisioned modernizing not only the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but also the DND Proper and its civilian bureaus to better manage resources and services.
“We need managerial solutions to managerial problems, not military solutions to managerial problems,” the DND chief noted.
On the issue of reforming the pension system of the military and uniformed personnel, Teodoro underscored the need to set up a Trust Fund for this purpose, and gave assurance that the men and women of the AFP are cognizant of the consideration given by Congress for their welfare.
Teodoro was appointed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to take the helm of the DND on June 5 having previously held the position in 2007-2009 during the term of then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Image credits: Presidential Communications Office