Legarda Launches Book on AFP Resilience

August 16, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today launched her book titled “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience, Fostering Resilient Communities” during the Conference on Resilience in the Age of Global Insecurity at the Manila Hotel.

The book was Legarda’s Commandant Paper for her Command and General Staff Course (CGSC). The paper received the Academic Excellence for Research award and Legarda’s completion of CGSC led to her promotion to colonel.

Legarda, together with the book’s editor, Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, presented copies of the book to Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cardozo Luna, National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) President Rear Admiral Roberto Estioko, and Brig. General Benjamin Espiritu of the NDCP Alumni Association.

“This book is about codifying the relevance of military resilience building of the AFP as an institution, inclusion of climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the AFP’s practice and governance framework, and fostering resilient communities in response to risks caused by climate change to the community and the environment,” said Legarda, an AFP reservist.

“This emphasizes that building resilience not only means responding to threats brought by climate change and natural hazards, but also involves reforms to strengthen the adaptability of institutional structures and systems,” she added.

The Senator said that the AFP, in performing its expanded role in supporting national and local agencies, should pursue the objective of co-managing and building more resilient communities.

She stressed that climate change is an important inclusion in military security planning because, for one, it accelerates conflict that contributes to instability and loss of harmony in various sectors.

“As a long-time advocate for environmental protection, and as an AFP reservist, I believe that building resilience is a shared responsibility. As key players in the humanitarian sphere, locally and internationally, the armed forces are now being progressively engaged in building resilient systems across all spaces, to include CCAM and DRRM. Moreover, the AFP’s resilience as an institution is just as important as building resilience in communities,” Legarda said.

The book includes essential inputs in developing the proposed action agenda for building resilience, and fostering resilient communities, such as, adopting an AFP Resilience Scorecard; developing a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Roadmap for the AFP; conducting a Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment on AFP installations; developing an AFP Climate and Disaster Resilience Toolkit that would address the issue of the lack of a deeper understanding of the relationship among climate change, disaster risks and national and human security; and incorporating CCAM and DRRM in key guidance and planning documents like the AFP Transformation Roadmap (AFPTR) and Defense Planning Guidance.

“A resilient AFP is a more effective AFP, thus, it must also be able to look after itself and allow itself to first address its shortcomings in terms of institutional resiliency so that it may perform its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, one of its many duties, more efficiently.  Through this publication, I hope that the AFP will be guided on how we can work towards a resilient, dependable and capable armed forces,” Legarda concluded.