CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) Vice Chief of Staff LtGen Salvador Mison Jr on Saturday, 16 September 2017, awarded the outstanding reservists and reserve units in the country during the Closing Ceremony of the National Reservists Week at the AFP Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo.
Among the awardees were Reserve Navy Commander Alexander G Abilo, the AFP Reservist of the Year for Field Grade Level; Reserve Air Force Lieutenant Albert C Corres, AFP Reservist of the Year for Company Grade Level; and Reserve Navy PO3 Jocelyn H Nuevo, AFP Enlisted Reservist of the Year.
“Recognition of these men and women manifests the interchange of support between the civilians and the military. Our reservists do not receive compensation for their services yet they remain professionals and put premium on national well-being,” Colonel Edgard A Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief said.
Also awarded were outstanding reserve units of the year; Naval Forces Reserve, National Capital Region, 82nd Marine Battalion Reserve, 60th Naval Affiliated Reserve Group (YLFC), and 559th NROTCU – University of Visayas.
Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs, J9, AFP hosted the activity. Among the activities conducted were the parade and review, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) Capability Demonstration.
The activity was attended by the AFP Joint Staff, and Commanders of AFP Reserve Units led by BGen Noel Buan, Commander of AFP Reserve Command.
The National Reservists Week ran from 03 to 10 September. This year’s theme is “Laang Kawal: Laging Handa sa Pagtugon sa Pangangailangan at Kusang Loob na Naglilingkod Para sa Bayan.”
“Linggo ng Laang-Kawal under Presidential Proclamation 627 of 1995 annually celebrates the AFP Reservists and their interminable support to our Armed Forces in fulfilling our mandate to protect the people and the state,” Colonel Arevalo said.
At present, the AFP has about 385,116 strong Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine reservists, and 1,520,704 Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets.
“The AFP recognizes and commends the spirit of volunteerism, patriotism, and dedication that the Reservists have in their hearts. The participation of some members to the rear of the Marawi battleground is worthy of emulation,” AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año said in a statement.
“The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is one of the major sources of the AFP’s Reserve Force. Hence, the approval of President Duterte on the restoration of the ROTC for Grades 11 and 12 in public and private schools nationwide is very much invigorating as this will help proliferate and build up the AFP’s Reserve Force,” General Año added.