In an apparent move to get with the times, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa set up a Twitter account to help reach out to his troops.
“I was encouraged by my children to embrace the social media. I was curious on what it can do to help the organization to reach out to our soldiers in the field. This is direct access to me,” Dellosa said of his Twitter account (@CSAFPDellosa).
“I have realized that social media can be very effective feedback mechanism not only to address the concerns of our ground units but also to help spread developments brought by our IPSP (Internal Peace and Security Plan) Bayanihan campaign,” he expounded in a statement.
The Bayanihan campaign plan is the AFP's outreach strategy towards all threat groups, including the New People's Army.
Dellosa set up his Twitter account on February 10, and quickly amassed over a hundred followers in the few short hours since it was activated.
“This is the official twitter account of the chief of staff, AFP. Thank you to the first followers.” Dellosa said in his first tweet.
“Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa is the first AFP chief to have a personal Twitter account and this is in support to the AFP’s advocacy campaign to promote transparency,” said AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said.
“Even before he assumed command of the AFP, he was known as a people-oriented commander and he is always reaching to our troops in the field, particularly those in the frontlines,” Burgos added.
However, Burgos explained that Dellosa's schedule "is very tight" at the moment, so the AFP chief might not yet be able to give immediate replies to his Twitter followers.
Although the AFP stopped short of encouraging all soldiers to have their own Twitter accounts, it nevertheless acknowledged the widespread use of social media among the ranks:
“There is still no guidance for us about it but right now, many of us (officers) have twitter accounts,” Burgos said. — TJD