A Package of policy reform proposals _____________________________________________________________



The Philippine Navy had been around for more than a century. It had played significant roles through our nation’s history, from the gallant amphibious operation by the insurgent navy during the Philippine Revolution (Zulueta 1998, p.20) to the support missions during the Korean War and up to the successful anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the 1950’s which led to the destruction of the illegal operations network of the notorious pirate, Kamlon (Giagonia 1947, p.247-272). But since then, the Navy had deteriorated to such depths that it had become socially irrelevant to the country’s development. Hence, the need for policy reforms that would attempt to transform this portrait of sickly Navy who is forever tied to the docks of antiquity and irrelevance to one that is ever sailing through the seas of modernity and an active partner to our country’s progress. In going about the discussion, some relevant information about the organization would be laid down to provide the necessary backdrop for the main topic of the paper.

Mission: To conduct prompt and sustained naval operations in support of the AFP’s mission. Functions: Ø Provide naval defense to ensure the sovereignty of the Philippines and to protect the people from external threats. Ø Conduct naval operations in support of air and ground operations. Ø Conduct maritime law enforcement within the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone. Ø Assist in national development efforts. Organization: (see Annex A) Resources: Personnel Marines Budget 1,687 Officers (see Annex B) 10,561 EP 387 officers 7,142 EP P6,014,191,000.00 (see Annex C) (Source: GAA 2000)



TYPE FIXED WING ISLANDER ROTARY (BO 105) TOTAL OPERATIONAL READINESS (%) Capabilities: Ø Limited Surface Warfare Ø Naval Gunfire Support Ø Amphibious Warfare Ø Sealift Operation Ø Domestic Sea Control Ø Search and Rescue


Present Role in Society: The traditional role of any navy is to obtain “sea control” when necessary. Sea control is the ability of a fleet to control certain maritime areas (Mahan 1885) for whatever purpose it may serve. It involves deployment of naval forces to engage, destroy or repel the enemy naval forces and carries with it the right to forbid passage through the capture or destruction (Agudelo 1994, 25). While the Navy can obtain sea control within our territorial waters, it cannot so beyond it. This is due to the fact that our antiquated and technology-deficient fleet could not match-up to any of our neighbors’ navies (de los Reyes 1996). Thus, the Navy today could not perform its primary mandated task to provide naval defense to ensure the sovereignty of the Philippines and protect the people from all external threats. With this, the role of the Navy has been relegated to conducting internal security operations and maritime law enforcement. But the Philippines, with its recognition as an archipelagic state, where all, “the islands, waters and other natural features form an intrinsic geographical, economic and political entity”, these roles seemed as paramount to the survival of the state as naval defense. (Zulueta 1998, 14) Internal Security Operations (ISO) involve naval gunfire support, amphibious and sealift operations. These are defined in an operations plan and are conducted often in conjunction with air and ground forces. For the past decades, the Navy had been very active in this role in support of the counter-insurgency operations. On the other hand, Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN) is actually the primary role of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which was separated from the Navy and transferred to the DOTC in 1998. However, due to PCG’s lack of surface assets and also due to the wide expanse of the Philippine waters that include the EEZ, the Navy was deputized by the various government agencies to enforce their specific laws. MARLEN involves the conduct of active and passive patrols to achieve naval presence in areas were illegal activities are perceived to be rampant.


Problem: The materiel inventory of the fleet is largely composed of World War II vintage patrol ships, landing ships and utility vessels, which are characterized as; (a) too costly to maintain, (b) too slow for conducting various naval operations, (c) manpower intensive and (d) technologically obsolete. Thereby, hindering fleet operations to a level of ineffectiveness. Moreover, the few operating ships capable of conducting MARLEN are often manned by unprofessional Commanding Officers (CO) who, unmindful of the gravity of their missions, would resort to bribery or corruption. Policy: Raise the level of effectiveness of the PN in fleet operations and MARLEN. Policy objectives: The 5-year targets are the following: Ø Raise the operational readiness percentage (operating ships/total nr of ships) from the present 38.5% (TABLE1.1) to 75%. Ø Increasing the number of fleet operations conducted by at least 100%. Ø Increasing the number of apprehensions for MARLEN violations at least 200%. Strategy: A policy shift from trying to maintain the traditional “blue water” fleet of large, obsolescent ships to one that is focused on a “green water” of high-speed low maintenance patrol crafts, which are very effective in MARLEN operations. This shift would include the downsizing the inventory of the old, non-operating ships. This way the huge budget that is allocated for the repair and maintenance of these old ships would now be freed up to repair the small crafts, which costs much less. Hence more crafts would be repaired with the available funds. This would now result to an increase in the number of operating ships. Moreover, the reduction of total number of ships in the inventory would drastically increase operational readiness percentage. While, more operating ships would translate to more naval operations conducted still, this would not translate into more apprehensions, as this ships still need highly professional skippers who will vigilantly and aggressively conduct MARELN. To this end, a more comprehensive selection process for CO’s would be established focusing not only on the candidate’s ship handling skills and knowledge but also on his service reputation. Programs/Activities: Ø Decommission all World War II vintage ships and other ships, which have been classified as “beyond economical repair” Ø Channel the funds intended for the decommissioned ships to support the repair, maintenance and operations of small crafts. Ø Promote a culture of maintenance through religious enforcement of preventive maintenance schedules (PMS). Ø Inclusion of service reputation as criteria in selecting CO’s.

Problem: The PN organizational structure can be best described in naval terms as “top heavy” or its weight distribution is not proportion to its design. In this case, the top being referred to is the administrative and support departments as opposed to operations. According to the troop disposition data, almost 10,000 or 83% of PN officers and enlisted personnel are detailed on base assignments as compared to only a little over 2,000 or 17% assigned aboardship. As a result, most patrol ships lack the full complement to efficiently carry out various ships evolutions. Also, the maintenance of the expanding bureaucratic structure of the PN is disproportionately costly when poised against the fact that it is servicing only 117 vessels, and of these only 45 are operating. An illustration of this is the existence of the Naval Forces North, Central, West and South. These are major units of the PN, whose Commanders hold the rank of Commodore. They are situated in Poro Point, La Union (North), Mactan Island Cebu (Central), Puerto Princesa,

Palawan (West) and Zamboanga City (South) and are conceptualized as a support facility for attached PN ships. However, of the four, only NAVFORSOUTH has a functional pier that can accommodate patrol ships. NAVFORCEN has a provisional docking facility for small crafts while NAVFORWEST and NAVFORNORTH have no port facilities at all. They merely request for the use of the city pier. Moreover, no more than 5 ships at any one time are attached to the Naval Forces North, West, and Central while NAVFORSOUTH can only effectively support up to 15 ships. Thus, the personnel assigned to these units usually busy themselves with ceremonies and secondary functions. Another problem is that the present intra-unit structure of having 11 support staff offices has resulted in difficulties in coordination, overlapping functions and burdensome bureaucratic red tape. Policy: Streamline the PN bureaucracy. Policy objectives: The 5-year targets are the following: Ø Increase deployment ratio of operations to admin/support from 17%:83% to 40%:60% Ø Reduction of support staff of each PN unit from 11 to 5 Strategy: The reduction of redundant and overlapping staff offices would provide excess personnel to fill-up shipboard assignments. Also, the funds allocated for the maintenance of these offices and units could be realigned to support operational activities. In the meantime, merging the support staff to a general category would facilitate coordination and avoid overlapping functions. Programs/Activities: Ø Merging of the support staff for intelligence, plans and training and subordinating it under staff operations Ø Merging of the support staff for civil-military operations and reservists affairs and subordinating it under the support staff for personnel. Ø Subordinating the support staff for ship repairs under the support staff for logistics Ø Downgrade the Naval Forces into Naval Stations except for NAVFORSOUTH, which should be transformed into Naval Operating Base.

Problem: Under the present system, all major units are allowed to have procuring agency to meet their logistical needs. Each unit follows the same procurement process (ANNEX B), which incorporates internal auditing mechanisms aside from the resident auditor from the commission on audit (COA). But according to landmark research conducted, there is corruption in the PN Procurement System and it occurs in all units (at varying degrees) with procuring agencies (Trillanes 2001). Corruption was also found at all levels of the system and it comes in various forms. One alarming finding is that the COA, which ironically, is the government watchdog against corruption, got an undisputable 100% response in corruption perception. The research also found out that the PN procurement officials, who are exposed to boundary exchange processes between the dealers, are likely to fall into corruptive behavior (Trillanes 2001). There are no definite figures as to how much is lost due to this type of corruption but a conservative estimate should place it around 10 percent of PN logistics budget. Now, getting the budget allocation for logistics services roughly amounting to 1.66B pesos (GAA2000), the total amount lost to corruption would translate to 166M pesos.

Furthermore, the present system, which provides for separate logistics planning for each unit has resulted in the non-standardization of specifications for general and peculiar supplies and an unsystematic determination of supply requirements. Policy: Reform the PN procurement system. Policy Objectives: The 5-year targets are the following: Ø Reduction of prices of supplies (excluding inflation) by an average of at least 10%. Ø Increase the stock inventory for fast moving items by 10%. Ø Reduction of the time to complete procurement process from 2 months to 10 days. Ø Establishment of system for standardized specifications for general and peculiar line items and supply requirement determination. Strategy: Procurement operations will be centralized to a logistics facility to closely scrutinize the process flow for any corruptive behavior. With the ensuring eradication of corruption, the prices of each supply commodity would decrease, as the level playing field would allow free market forces to operate. The savings generated from these reduced prices could now be used to procure additional fast-moving items to act as “buffer stocks” for the next procurement cycle. A monitoring mechanism would also be installed, which would be able to locate every document anywhere in the process flow. This way, any unnecessary delay in the processing would be recorded and those responsible would be dealt with accordingly. This should hasten the process. This facility would apply new planning and analytical tools for better formulation of logistics plans and better supply acquisition. Programs/Activities: Ø Centralizing the procurement system to Naval Logistic Center Ø Establish monitoring mechanisms(e.g. Date-Time in/out Log sheets, monitoring boards, etc.) Ø Conduct value formation seminars Ø Conduct counter-intelligence operations (e.g. entrapment operations, deployment of intelligence assets/informants) Ø Institutionalize the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) management systems Ø Institutionalize the Logistics Support Analysis(LSA)

Agudelo, Jose T 1994 “Naval Requirements of an Archipelagic State”. Philippine Military Digest Vol 1 Nr 1. (January-March) Giagonia, Regino 1997 The Philippine Navy (1898-1996) 2nd Edition. Manila: Philippine Navy Mahan, Alfred T

1885 As reprinted in John B Hattendorf 1991, ed. Mahan on Naval Strategy: Selections from the writings of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Trillanes, Antonio IV F 2002 Corruption in Unpublished the Philippine Navy Procurement System.

Zulueta, Joselito 1998 “Archipelagic Riddle”. In Ruben V. Tangco , ed. Tides of Change: The Philippine Navy Looks Back A Hundred Years And Peers Into The Next Century. Manila: Philippine Navy through Infinit-I Communiocation Services 1996 Captain Ariston de los Reyes PN, Assistant Chief Naval Staff for Plans and Programs as quoted in Manila Standard Aug 20 during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance AFP Integrated Logistics Support Management Manual AFPM 4-4. Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City General Appropriations Act. Downloaded from DBM website at www.DBM.gov.ph

1997 2000

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