Miss Earth 2015, Angelia Ong, to attend CRS Change of Command Ceremony



Reigning Miss Earth 2015, Angelia Ong, is set to attend the change of command ceremony of the Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (CRSAFP) on March 30, 2016 at Camp Aguinaldo. COL Edgard Arevalo (GSC) PN(M) will take over as the CRSAFP Commander.

Miss Ong has been closely partnering with the CRSAFP through the Race to One Million Seedlings (R1MS), a project that aims to alleviate the effects of climate change, spearheaded by the 7th Civil Relations Group (7CRG). As an advocate for environmental protection and conservation, Miss Earth has since then actively participating in the activities of the CRS.

As she mentioned before, “[Miss Earth] is more than just a beauty pageant, we want to get your attention and once we get it, we want you to listen” which notes the 5Rs they promote—Rethink, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Respect.


In celebration of the National Women’s Month in March, the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID), in partnership with Ateneo de Davao, hosted a forum for lady-members of the uniformed services.
Around 80 uniformed women of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy participated in the Women, Peace and Security Forum at the Ateneo De Davao University on March 15.
With the theme “It’s a Girl Thing”, the forum was jointly hosted by the 10ID’s Gender Awareness and Development (GAD) Office and Ateneo de Davao University Department of Psychology Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services.
The forum was primarily aimed at citing the significant role being played by women in the uniformed services.
It also emphasized the roles of women in the society and the importance of their presence in every organization and institution. Furthermore, as women and public servants working for peace and security, women have exemplified excellent service to the people and state.
Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, Commander of 10ID, in his remarks appreciated the activity and proposed the conduct of similar activity every quarter after getting positive feedback and satisfaction from the participants.
“We all know that in conflict and disaster situations, children and women are the most vulnerable and it is the women who know their special needs and concerns. The women from the uniformed services, therefore play very important role in ensuring that the effects of calamities and conflict on women and children are mitigated.
“Women in the uniformed services also play important role in conflict resolution and peace building,” he added.
Col. Casiano C Monilla, the 10ID GAD Focal System Chairperson, warmly welcomed the attendees from Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley Province and Davao City.
The forum started with the get-to-know activity followed by series of sessions, icebreakers and small groups sharing facilitated by the psychology professors of Ateneo de Davao University.
Col. Monilla declared the forum a huge success with the participants now more informed about their significant role as members of the uniformed services.
Aside from 10ID, other units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have conducted activities in celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8 and the National Women’s Month.
As part of its gender sensitivity program, the AFP has established Gender Awareness and Development (GAD) Office in every major unit which are tasked to conduct regular troop information and education seminars.  #

10ID, DTI distribute broiler chicks to ex-NPAs in ComVal

To ensure their smooth transition back to mainstream society, the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID), in partnership with various national government agencies and local government units, distributed broiler chicks to 15 former members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Compostela Valley province. 

Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, commander of the 10ID, said that the livelihood project dubbed “Effectively Mainstreaming Former Rebels Through Livelihood Opportunities” was actually a re-entry project of Maj. Reandrew Rubio of the 10ID who is a student of Public Management Development Program at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). 

“This worthwhile project really provides the opportunity to rebel returnees to start a new life in the mainstream society. As fellow Filipinos, we want to assist them through these livelihood programs,” said Maj. Gen. Valencia. 

“This kind of project would somehow contribute in alleviating the living conditions of the former rebels while they are in their respective communities and would also entice active rebels to return to the folds of law,” he added. 

The 900 broiler chicks were equally divided among the 15 beneficiaries. 

The beneficiaries of the project are former NPA rebels who returned to the folds of the law through units under the operational control of the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade-46 Infantry Battalion and 71st Infantry Battalion.

Major Rubio personally proposed in his project the grant of livelihood assistance to former rebels from Compostela Valley province to facilitate their return to mainstream society.

As re-entry project, it was visited last month by former Undersecretary of the Department Of Science and Technology (DOST) and faculty lead of Public Management Development Program-Development Academy of the Philippines (PMDP-DAP) Re-Entry Project Prof. Fortunato dela Peña.

Professor Dela Pena was received by Col. Norman Zuniega, Civil Military Operation Officer of 10ID representing Major General Valencia.

“The purpose of the visit is to validate the reported data on the status of re-entry project implementation and its deliverables,” said Major Rubio.

During the site visit and inspection, the former rebel-beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the 10ID and its partner agencies.

Col. Macairog Alberto, 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the efforts of partner agencies,

“We treasure our stakeholders for their active participation and assistance to our former rebels and we look forward for their unfaltering support in assisting in the livelihood of our community,” Col. Alberto said.

“This effort is geared towards presenting solutions to the needs of the ComValeños in order for our deceived brothers to abandon the armed struggle and instead arm them with livelihood skills training,” he added. #

“Filipino Soldiers… are Super Heroes”

“The AFP Soldiers are definitive proof that super heroes do exists and they don’t need to wear cape or everything else, they don’t have to fly, they just do it with their simple actions with sacrifices, unity and dignity and that is what makes them special.”…

The AVP was a tribute of Grade 8 and 9 students of Assumption College after their Camp Tour at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City on March 11, 2016 as organized by the 7CRG, CRSAFP, AFP.

Race to One Million Seedlings formally launches

With the tagline “We will because we can” Race to One Million Seedlings (R1MS), a project that aims in targeting to plant one million seedlings to combat climate change, has officially launched at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on March 11.

            R1MS is a project spearheaded by the 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (7CRG, CRSAFP) that aims to gather and plant one million seedlings, particularly fruit-bearing and indigenous seeds, in the National Capital Region (NCR) within a year. This effort is centered in alleviating the effects brought about by climate change.

The event commenced with a ribbon cutting by guests of honor including Vice Chief of Staff, LTGEN Glorioso Miranda, Commander, CRSAFP, BGEN Joselito Kakilala, Department of Agriculture, Regional Executive Director Vilma Dimaculangan, ABSCBN Lingkod Kapamilya Managing Director Susan B. Afan and Miss Philippines Earth 2015 Angelia Ong. The said activity was preceded with a seed potting facilitated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) and Department of Agriculture Region IVA (DA) wherein they demonstrated proper seed handling and potting.

            In his welcome remarks, COL Jeavy Resureccion (GSC) PA, Acting Deputy Commander, CRSAFP cited that “the task of environmental protection is universal responsibility” and that R1MS is a project that requires “little patience” since it would take some time for the seeds to grow.

            Meanwhile, LTC Marlowe Patria, Group Commander, 7th Civil Relations Group briefed the audience of what the project is all about. He also reiterated its main objectives 1. ) to plant one million trees; 2.) enhance advocacy for environmental protection and preservation; and 3) enhance partnerships for future endeavors . “The objectives may sound noble but of course we cannot do it alone in the Armed Forces of the Philippines nor any one of us here alone. That is why we are together in this endeavor” said LTC Patria.

            Guests were also provided an opportunity to give their inspirational messages with regards to R1MS. Director Dimaculangan of the DA gave an overview of what climate change is, what has been its effects, and what people can do, such as “container gardening” “promoting organic agriculture” and enjoining in activities such as R1MS in order to build resilient communities. Secondly, Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong, mentioned that “ [Miss Earth] is more than just a beauty pageant… we want to get your attention and once we get it, we want you to listen”. Ong emphasized the 5Rs that they promote—Rethink, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Respect.

            Moreover, BGEN Kakilala said that there is a need for “complete action” in combating climate change.  He said that the project “may be a small effort compared to the gravity of the issue at hand” but definitely it would make a change.

            In his keynote message, LTGEN Miranda commended first the Civil Relations Service of the AFP for organizing such huge activity that is in partnership with various sectors of the society. He read AFP Chief of Staff, LTGEN Hernando Iriberri’s message who was not able to attend due to prior commitments. “… with small acts from every individuals, we can conserve the environment, fight pollution, and contribute in the global scale” read LTGEN Iriberri’s message.

            R1MS had its soft launched in December last year participated by several organizations and national institutions.

You may also watch this video:

Spearhead Division Joins National Women’s Month Celebration


CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz –The 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division joined the simultaneous celebration of the National Women’s Month with the theme “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda on Monday, March 07, 2016.”

In line with this celebration, the 3ID conducted a flag raising ceremony attended by the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Command. The flag raising ceremony aimed to increase the awareness of the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Command on the background, theme and activities under the National Women’s Month Celebration.

During the ceremony, Colonel Aldwine Almase the acting Chief of Staff of 3ID read the message of Honorable Voltaire Gazmin, the Secretary of National Defense and subsequently followed by the reading of messages of Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army and Brigadier General Harold N Cabreros, the Commander of 3ID respectively.

In his message, Defense Secretary Gazmin stressed out “With mutual respect and openness, and the eagerness to work together, we will be able to uphold gender equality and harness the full potential of humankind.”

Meanwhile,Lt. Gen. Año encouraged the women and men of the Philippine Army to actively participate in the celebration of Women’s Month. “Let us support this endeavor in recognizing the involvement of women, their participation in our leadership, and their inclusion in every agenda because every “Juana” is indispensable to our organization” he added.

The annual conduct of Women’s Month Celebration intends to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

This year’s theme resonates the call for gender-balance in leadership and decision making positions both in public and private sector; inclusion of women’s concerns in leadership platforms and the government’s development agenda; and capacitating and preparing women and girls to reach their ambitions.

Palo, Leyte now Stable Internal Peace and Security municipality



PALO, Leyte – The local government unit and the Philippine Army declares Palo, Leyte as Stable Internal Peace and Security municipality on March 7, 2016.

Mayor Remedios Petilla and Colonel Francisco Mendoza Jr, Commander of Philippine Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade signed a Joint Declaration that will enhance the peace and security stability of the municipality in a ceremony held at Palo LGU building.

Having been categorized as cleared area last year, the Philippine Army 19th Infantry Battalion based in nearby town of Kananga recommended to the local government that Palo, Leyte be declared insurgency-free based on the imperatives stipulated in AFP-PNP Joint Letter Directive No. 3.

The military’s recommendation prompted the enactment of Municipal Resolution No. 2015-16 which granted authority to the local chief executive to sign in behalf of the municipality a Joint Declaration of an Insurgency-Free Municipality of Palo, Leyte.

Recounting the background of insurgency in the province of Leyte, Lt. Col. Roberto Sarmiento, Commanding Officer of the 19th IB, said that there is no recorded major incident or atrocities perpetrated by the insurgents in the municipality of Palo for some years.

Mayor Petilla, said in her welcome remarks that the declaration will enhance the development programs in the municipality of Palo, Leyte.

“Peace is important in the development and progress in the country”, Petilla added.

With this status of Palo, Leyte, Superintendent Erwin Portillo, Deputy Provincial Director for Operations who represented Senior Superintendent Franco Simborio of the Leyte Police Provincial Office narrated that the police can now focus in its law enforcement role.

On the other hand, Colonel Mendoza thanked the local government unit of Palo, for opening its doors for the military to serve its constituents better.

“This declaration manifests the cooperation of all stakeholders in Palo. We will continue to coordinate with the local government unit even with this status of the municipality,” Colonel Mendoza said.‪


SOURCE: 19th Infantry Commando Battalion

Army partners with BOSS to bring smiles to persons with deformities

In partnership with a non-government organization (NGO), the Philippine Army will be bringing smiles to dependents and relatives of military personnel and civilian employees who have lip deformities through free surgery and medicines.
The three-day medical mission with the Project B.O.S.S. or Brotherhood Operation Sweet Smile, will be held March 9-11at the Army General Hospital.
Initial screening had been done last March 2.
Col. Benjamin D. Hao, spokesman of the Army, expressed gratitude to BOSS for its continuing support to the Army.
“In partnership with BOSS, this is our simple way of giving back more to our troops, civilian employees and their loved ones,” Hao said.
“Dependents and relatives of military personnel and civilian employees of the Philippine Army who have cleft lip/palate patients are encourage to avail of the free surgery and medicines,” he added.
As NGO-partner, BOSS will provide doctors who will perform the operation, and the X-Ray films, anesthesia and other medical supplies needed, including pre and post operation medicines.
On the other hand, laboratory tests, X-rays, ECG and other medical examinations and screening will be carried out at the Army General Hospital.
The partnership of the Philippine Army and BOSS started in 2011 when they conducted similar medical mission at the 1st Infantry Division in Zamboanga.
A total of 82 patients successfully operated. The team also conducted three other activities again in the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City, and Army General Hospital in Fort Bonifacio. 
The sweet smile project has already benefited 308 individuals, so far.
“And we expect to bring more smiles in the future,” said Hao.
Lt. Gen. Eduardo M Año, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, commended the Project BOSS for their invaluable service to their countrymen by providing free surgical restoration to indigent citizens of Mindanao and other parts of the Visayas with cleft lip and palate deformities.
“This clearly shows that together –the government and the private sector, can make a big difference in the life of our people. This is ‘Bayanihan’ at its best,” Ano said. #

Philippine Army kicks off its 119th anniversary celebration in Luzon

“Serving the people, securing the land”

As part of its 119th anniversary, the Philippine Army held static capability displays and various activities at SM City Lucena in Quezon and Bonifacio Global City  in Metro Manila simultaneously last March 5-6.

Facilitated by the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, the event in Lucena featured various activities like photo sessions with the Army, photo contest and exhibits, Army recruitment, and performances from the Army band. Meanwhile, a capability display, Army recruitment, and caravan were featured in Bonifacio High Street which was organized by the Civil Military Operations Group.

There are also activities lined up for Visayas and Mindanao, particularly in Robinsons Tacloban City on March 11-12 and in Gaisano Mall in Tagum City on March 12-13. COL Benjamin Hao, Army Chief Public Affairs, mentioned that they want to celebrate the anniversary nationwide to be able to feature their “transformation” to modernization and “showcase the pride of being an Army.”

COL Hao also said that celebrating it nationwide would also mean a wider information dissemination of what the PA has achieved during its 119 years of existence.

The culminating activity will be held at the Headquarters Philippine Army on March 22 which will showcase fighting equipment and humanitarian aid and relief (HADR) capabilities given to the PA during the administration of PNoy.

“We will continue our transformation program. We hope that in our next anniversary, we are more modern, more transformed, and prouder. We also hope that we can end our insurgency problems” said COL Hao.

The Philippine Army is the ground forces branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). It traces its roots on March 22, 1897 during the Tejeros Convention where among its resolutions, is to create a standing army for the revolutionary forces.

CAA Carpentry Squads Rebuild Lives After Every Storm

BGEN IGANCIO A OBLIGACION, AFP, 9ID Assistant Division, helps a member of the CAA Carpentry Squad of 9ID gear up for his unit’s duties in the future as they were sent off in a ceremony at 9ID Parade Grounds on January 11, 2016.

Humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) is meant to be a big deal of a phrase with a vast scope. From preparing for known calamities to executing contingency plans to performing search, rescue and relief, it is meant to cover all stages related to any calamity and its effects on human life and properties.

For the past decades, countries, including the Philippines, have been perfecting its system in dealing with calamities as the effects of climate change intensify with each passing year. It became apparent that rebuilding homes is also a necessary aspect of HADR that has to be further enhanced in order for the preservation of communities.

Bicol Region, due to its location, is oftentimes visited by typhoons and challenged with various calamities. Its volatile soil also gave birth to active volcanoes Mt. Bulusan and Mt. Mayon. These factors put together makes living in Bicol both a blessing and a test to residents.

Keeping this as a top priority, the command created the CAFGU Active Auxiliary Carpentry Squads. This team was tasked with the duty of clearing the way for HADR units and rebuilding homes and lives after the storm.

Cafgu builders 

Our CAFGU Active Auxiliary are regarded as force multipliers of the Philippine Army. They are called “part time soldiers” due to the fact that they only report for duty 15 days every month. They spend the rest of the month working and living as civilians.

But in 9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division, they are more than just these.

The 22nd Infantry Battalion, 9ID, under the leadership of Col Andrew D Costelo, INF (GSC) PA, created four CAA Carpentry Squads. It started as a response team to rehabilitate facilities damaged by calamities.

The same with the basic infantry squad, it is composed of members specializing in various fields such as masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring. Each squad is also headed by one regular Spear Trooper as squad leader.

Their roles include maintenance of camp facilities to provide a comfortable working/resting environment for the Spear Troopers, quick restoration of camp facilities damaged by calamities and deployment for clearing operations and rehabilitation activities during and after calamities. Their presence during clearing operations and rehabilitation further boosts the disaster response and rescue operations of the maneuver units, allowing them to focus more on search, rescue and relief operations.

Aside from these, they are also utilized in building school buildings and other government infrastructures and facilities in hinterlands and towns in Bicol.

The first of its kind in Bicol, 9ID leadership has intended to make its CAA Carpentry Squads as models or inspiration for other Army commands to duplicate.

Last January 11, 2016, CAA Carpentry Squad was officially recognized and inaugurated as part of a working team in line to 22nd Infantry Valor Battalion’s mission and goals. They were deployed to various assignments with send-off ceremony in 9ID Headquarters Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur.

The three Carpentry Squads were deployed in the area of 901st Brigade covering Albay, Cantanduanes and Camarines Sur; 902nd Brigade covering Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur; and to 903rd Brigade covering Sorsogon and Masbate. Two squads remained at Headquarters, 9ID and 22nd Infantry VALOR Battalion.

This brings them closer to the communities and units which need them. It ensures that their services are immediately given and their purpose is properly achieved. With their capabilities in clearing operations which allows for quicker response, it also ensures that more lives will be saved in event of future calamities – making the Zero Casualty goal a common occurrence in Bicol Region.

Under the shadow of Mt. Isarog in Pili, Camarines Sur, the CAA Carpentry Squads of 9ID stand with their newly acquired gears that they will use in HADR operations and rehabilitation in the days to come during the send-off ceremony at 9ID Parade Grounds on January 11, 2016
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