Army Recognizes Role of Media in Army’s Transformation Roadmap

Towards a world class army, the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) of the Philippine Army (PA) envisions that it will be the pride of the nation and loved by the people. This was revealed during the 2-day ATR seminar conducted by the 3rd Infantry Division at Iloilo Grand Hotel which culminated Saturday, October 10, and was participated by reporters and broadcasters from various media establishments in the provinces of Panay and Negros Islands.

Top officers of 3rd ID recognized the great role of media in helping the army spread its advocacy through the ATR which actually started training with army personnel focusing on the values and discipline of the soldiers.

Resource speakers during the seminar were Col Francis Mendoza, Jr, Chief of Staff, who represented Maj. Gen. Ray Leonardo Guerrero, commanding officer, 3ID; Lt Col Rommel Cordova, commander, 62nd Infantry battalion based in Northern Negros Occidental; LT Col Jonathan Gayas, commanding officer, civil military operations battalion; Lt Col Von Albert Sumergido, commanding officer, GLAC; Major Enrique Rafael, Executive Officer, 3ID; Maj. William Pesase and Maj. Allan Tesoro, all of the civil military operations office 3ID; Maj. Ray Tiongson, head Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), and 1Lt Krystle Rose Abay, administrative officer, CMO office.

LTC Cordova said, we are doing this because we want to be professional army. That the army whom the public often had negative perception in previous years, is totally different from today’s army, who are committed to serving the people, and securing the land.

They also revealed the survey conducted by Club Media, wherein the result revealed that 75 percent of the people’s perception on the army, has established excellent relations with the community, as shown in the support of stakeholders that led to the surrender of misguided elements who returned to peaceful life with their families.

Instead of carrying guns and weapons, the army now facilitates the construction of school buildings, houses of relocated informal settlers, barangay centers, public markets, roads, bridges, barangay gyms, provide services for the installation of water systems in the upland areas, save lives by helping rescue typhoon and flood victims, and donating blood to indigent patients, aside from performing the job of teachers in the non-formal education the adult illiterates become literate. Regardless of time and weather, the army personnel become the ones providing services to people in the hinterlands that other government agencies fail, due to its distance and lack of transportation.

Based on the said accomplishments and performance of the army, Dr. Luis Soralla, Jr, former president of West Visayas State University, was guest speaker during the closing program of ATR training who urged the media to be vigilant in changing the paradigm of soldiers. “We will work together in treading the “matuwid na daan” until we reach our target, towards a good governance committed for the welfare of people. We have to help recover our ailing society, from the enemies that threaten our community - illegal drugs, diseases, disaster and a lot more to save our people and their livelihood.”

Some reactions from mediamen: Amy Almosa of Capiz media said, “I have learned about ATR, and lot about the Philippine Army. Summarizing it, is image rebuilding that was tarnished by previous administrations.”

To Margiere Abina of Dumaguete media, “ATR is a very useful way to effectively disseminate the information provided by the army to the media outlets.”

James Cabag, Operations officer of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 6 said: “the ATR seminar has given us opportunity to take a look at the factors that affect the performance of the army soldiers, and how they strive to align these with their goal to become better protectors of the land.

Maj Tiongson appeals to the media, “help us change the direction by helping our advocacy and move as a people breaking the barriers.”*