PAGADIAN CITY, April 20, 2017 – The Battalion Commanders’ Symposium (BCS) 2017 – WESTMINCOM leg, with the theme: “Competent and Dynamic Battalion Commanders, Key to Success of the AFP Development Service Support Plan (DSSP)”, was held at Mardale Hotel and Convention Center, Pagadian City on April 18 – 20, 2017.
The first BCS conducted by the Headquarters Philippine Army this year, this event was spearheaded by the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division to instill upon the battalion commanders on their critical role in advancing the Commander-in-Chief’s directives as stated in the AFP Development Support and Security Plan “Kapayapaan”; and to update them on the current Command’s initiatives and programs in support to the AFP’s mission.
Participants of the BCS 2017 included 61 Battalion Commanders from Combat, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support Units from 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division and 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division.
The three-day symposium included talks and lectures of resource speakers from the military and civilian sectors.
Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio H. Cerilles, who provided insights as a Local Chief Executive, emphasized that one way to effectively develop a community is to engage with various government agencies. He also encouraged the battalion commanders to maintain robust relationships with the local government units and support for the success of their development initiatives, which also contribute to the fulfilment of the Army’s duties and responsibilities.
BGEN ROLANDO JOSELITO D BAUTISTA, Commander, 1st Infantry Division shared his insights on the role of the military in community development. He said that in addition to their tasks to maintain peace and security, military units must commit to contribute to the development of their community or area of responsibility. “Once we are given a task, we go for gold and always do our best”, he said.
LTGEN CARLITO G GALVEZ JR, AFP, Commander, Western Mindanao Command provided inspiration to the participants when he described the WESTMINCOM based battalion commanders as the “best among the bests”. He challenged them to level up and explore as leaders who should “go to where they have never been before.”
The arrival of Commanding General, Philippine Army, LTGEN GLORIOSO V MIRANDA, AFP highlighted the final day of BCS 2017. He motivated the battalion commanders in his keynote message: “Being a soldier is never easy. It will remain difficult but one has to accomplish its mission at any cost while putting the welfare of every soldier at the top. Soldiers must develop the ability to learn, to remember, and most importantly to adopt. For soldiers to succeed, they should never stop to imagine and think. Thay should always look forward and anticipate things.”
The CGPA also assured that the Headquarters Philippine Army is always open for the battalion’s concerns.
The Battalion Commander’s Symposium is a yearly program to update its Battalion Commanders on the current policies and thrust of the Philippine Army. The symposium was also a venue where the participants had the opportunity to discuss critical issues and strategies as well as best practices in peace and development.