MANILA, Philippines - Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent.
Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers such as those holding the rank of lieutenant colonel must be promoted within three years after their last promotion or else face attrition.
Many Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni often choose to enter the Army rather than the Philippine Air Force or the Philippine Navy.
Several Army officers told The STAR that their counterparts in the Air Force and Navy, some of them underclassmen, have been promoted to the next higher rank.
“We are hoping that Secretary Gazmin will take notice of this disparity because this is now causing some easiness among the officers concerned,” one middle-grade officer told The STAR.
He said one PMA batch, composed of more than 200 members, had 87 of its members serving in the Army.
“Those in the Air Force and Navy have been promoted to the next rank, while those in the Army are still holding the same rank and if they’re not promoted they will be separated from the service, as per our military rules,” another officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel said.
These officers said they are pinning their hopes of promotion – and their continued stay in the service – on Catapang and Gazmin.
One officer said some of his colleagues have expressed their intention to opt for early retirement rather than be separated from the service due to attrition.
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