MANILA –Majority of the 10,000 additional troops which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is now authorized to recruit will be given to the Army.
This was stressed by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a briefing Wednesday.
Out of the 10,000 additional troops, 8,000 will be allocated to the Army while the remaining 2,000 will be divided evenly between the Air Force and Navy.
He also clarified that the additional soldiers will be used to bring to bring up to strength undermanned units.
“These new troops will be used to reinforce under strength units. We will not be raising any new divisions or battalions despite being allowed to recruit 10,000 more soldiers,” Arevalo said in Filipino.
He also clarified that the additional 10,000 troops have been long requested by the AFP but was only granted by the incumbent Chief Executive.
At present, the AFP numbers around 125,000 troops with an 85,000 allocated to the Army and remaining 45,000 split between the Air Force and Navy.
“These additional troops are needed for our various security engagements,” Arevalo when asked on the reason for the new troopers when the government is now engaged on peace talks with various separatist groups.
By security engagements, the AFP official is referring to the Abu Sayyaf, Maute Group and other lawless elements.
Besides this, new soldiers are needed to man the brand-new equipment and platforms now being acquired by the AFP.
He added that recruitment of these new troopers is already accompanied by a budget allocation.