ARMED Forces chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. has assumed an additional post, “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” under a new scheme that renamed the official title of key military officials.
“Joint Chiefs” refers to members of the Joint Staff — deputy chiefs of staff for personnel (J1), intelligence (J2), operations (J3), logistic (J4), plans (J5), communications, electronics and information systems service, (J6), civil military operations (J7), education and training (J8) reservists and retirees affairs (J9).
It is supervised by the chief of the Joint Staff, formerly called the AFP deputy chief of staff.
AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo yesterday said the reorganization was in response to an order issued by the Department of National Defense last month, giving the additional position to the AFP chief.
“Basically, the purpose of the designation and the renaming of key positions of the AFP is for effective command, control, and supervision by the chief of staff of the AFP who is also the chairman of the joint chiefs,” said Arevalo.
“This envisions to make the AFP more responsive and capable to address current and future non-conventional threats. This will entail no added personnel, remuneration, or powers bestowed,” said Arevalo.
Arevalo said Santos, as the AFP chief of staff or head of the AFP, will have operational supervision over the “joint force commanders” (formerly called “commanders”) of the unified commands.
The unified commands or “force employers” are the Northern, Southern Luzon, Western, Central, Eastern Mindanao, and Western Mindanao commands, along with the Joint Task Force National Capital Region.
“With his designation as chairman of the joint chiefs and the head of the AFP, he will have the administrative supervision and control over the chief of the Joint Staff (formerly the deputy chief of staff),” said Arevalo.
Arevalo said the chairman of the joint chiefs would also have administrative supervision and control over the chief of the Army, chief of the Air Force, and chief of the Navy (formerly commanding general, Philippine Army; commanding general, Philippine Air Force; and flag-officer-in-command, Navy).
Arevalo said the AFP vice chief of staff is now vice chairman of the joint chiefs.
“The reason is we would like to be aligned with armed forces in the world, in the ASEAN region… For example, they call their (Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs) as chief of the Army, chief of the Navy, and chief of the Air Force,” he said.
Arevalo said the new system is not yet fully implemented because field units are new to this “but my point is we are headed toward this direction.”