116th Anniversary of Philippine Army

21 March 2013

The Philippine Army (Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas) is marking its 116th Founding Anniversary on March 22, 2013. Along with the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Army (PA) is a major branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), responsible for training, organizing, equipping, and sustaining ground forces in support of the AFP mission. Guided by the motto "At Your Service, Across The Land," its 80,000 active troops are deployed in regular units and conventional military operations.
The Army has its roots in the Katipunan, founded by Gat Andres Bonifacio in 1896 which formed the Philippine Army. The Philippine Government was formed on March 22, 1897 at Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon in Cavite.

After the creation of the Philippine Commonwealth on November 15, 1935, President Manuel L. Quezon asked General Douglas MacArthur to evolve a national defense plan. The National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No. 1) passed on December 21, 1935, organized a Council of National Defense and an Army of the Philippines, composed of former holders of reserve commissions in the United States of America Army, and former officers of Philippine Scouts, Constabulary, and National Guard.

The AFP launched its Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) "Bayanihan" program to win the peace through economic development on January 1, 2011, complementing this overall AFP plan is the Army Transformation Roadmap which defines the PA's strategic direction for the next 18 years. The PA also has its Army Literacy Patrol System, with soldier-teachers, popularly called "barefoot soldiers," providing basic literacy education to out-of-school children and young adults, apart from their duties to help maintain peace and order.

We congratulate the Philippine Army, led by Commanding General Lt. Gen. Noel A. Coballes, other Officers and Personnel, on its programs and projects that focus not only on people's safety, but also on their socio-economic development. We wish them the best and success in all endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!