BY: LTCOL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
21 May 2010
Rear Admiral Danilo M Cortez, the acting Flag Officer In Command of the Philippine Navy vowed to continue the initiatives set by his predecessor, Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez who retired from active military service on 15 May 2010. During the command conference he presided at the Navy Headquarters on the 17th of May linked live to all naval forces in the entire country via the Virtual Private Network, Rear Admiral Cortez reiterated to the commanders the priority areas where efforts should be channeled to in accomplishing the mission.
On Naval operations, the Rear Admiral wants the Navy to continue to institutionalize the employment of the Fleet-Marine doctrine in all aspects of naval operations and to bring an end to the problem of insurgency. He also stressed the employment of the principle of maneuver warfare to combat threat groups in the Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi areas.
On Naval intelligence, the Navy’s Coast Watch System shall be enhanced through the installation of the automatic identification system in selected stations and occupied islands in the Spratlys.
Rear Admiral Cortez also exhorted the Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) to take an active role in helping address the concerns of the local community by engaging concerned LGUs, government agencies, and NGOs. He said that the Navy must work towards the strengthening of civil military operations while taking advantage of various opportunities with the private sector by encouraging community growth and development.
He cited the Navy’s concerted efforts in crafting a strategic communication plan to be able to better communicate the Navy’s programs and advocacies to our internal and external stakeholders in support to the Navy’s mission and vision.
To uplift the morale of twenty thousand Navy personnel and look over their welfare, Rear Admiral Cortez directed the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Personnel to pursue off-base housing initiatives to provide affordable shelter to Sailors and Marines. He likewise directed to pursue arrangements through MOA with different shipping companies for discounted fare of Sailors and Marines going on rest and recreation, as well as help the dependents of Navy personnel to avail of the privileges offered by the AFP educational benefits system.
Since funds are needed and the allocations are inadequate, He also directed to study the possibility of optimizing the utilization of the newly rehabilitated Manila Naval Hospital for income generation by allowing private medical practitioners to conduct business within the hospital complex that includes private pharmacies to open outlets for cheaper medicines.
Rear Admiral Cortez also directed the Administrator of the Real Estate Management Office to explore the possibility of utilizing real estate properties as income generating assets to support the procurement of mission essential equipment and establishment of needed facilities.
He also wants the Navy to vigorously pursue initiatives and relentlessly work further for the acquisition of the Multi-role Vessel (MRV) and directed his staff to expedite the processing of supporting documents under the Capability Upgrade Program 2009.
He enjoined all Sailors and Marines “to work together and join hands so that collectively, we can continue to sail forward and attain our dream of becoming a strong and credible navy that our maritime nation can be proud of”.