Duterte signs law setting fixed term for top military posts, changing retirement age

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that will set a fixed term of three years for key military positions and change the retirement age of soldiers, depending on their rank.

RA 11709 signed on April 13 and released on Monday states that the following will have a fixed tour of duty of three years: Chief of Staff, Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commanding General of the Army, Commanding General of the Air Force, Flag Officer in Command of the Navy, Unified Command Commanders and Inspector General.

There shall be no extension of the term unless there is a war or other national emergencies declared by Congress. The officers will be compulsorily retired after completing their tour of duty regardless of age unless they are promoted to Chief of Staff or relieved and will not be designated to any position.

The law also outlined compulsory retirement for military personnel:

- Age 56 or after 30 years of satisfactory active duty for the Second Lieutenant/Ensign (O-1) to Colonel/Captain (O-6)

- Age 59 or the maximum tenure-in-grade for Brigadier General/Commodore (O-7) to Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral (O-9)

- Age 60 or after 20 years of satisfactory active duty for those commissioned under Presidential Decree No. 1908 and those appointed in the Corps of Professors

- Age 56 or at least 30 years of satisfactory active duty for enlisted personnel

The law also covered the attrition systems for Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel and procurement officers and enlisted personnel, as well as grade distribution.

The AFP welcomed the passage of the measure.

"The AFP is confident that the newly-signed law will bring stability in the military organization as we continue to fulfill our mandate as protectors of the people and the state," said spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala.