Aquino directs fund for cutter sea vessel, helicopters

Thea Alberto-Masakayan
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has directed the release of a P4.95-billion fund to further beef up the country's defense, a Cabinet official said Wednesday.
“The P4.95 billion will fund necessary capability requirements of Armed Forces of the Philippines in its territorial defense operations, including providing a strong security perimeter for the Malampaya Natural Gas and Power Project (MNGPP),” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement.
The huge fund was ordered released just months after the government spent P423 million to acquire a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton to secure MNGPP and the disputed parts of the West Philippine Sea.
Abad said that of the P4.95 billion, P2.65 billion will be used to purchase a high-endurance cutter sea vessel and three helicopters for the Philippine Navy; and for base support and logistics system and coast watch requirements.
The Philippine Air Force will also be using P2.30 billion to get three helicopters and to develop a base-hangar, he added.
Abad said the fund will be charged against the Special Account in the General Fund (Fund 151) being maintained by the Department of Energy for Malampaya Revenues.
“We are ensuring that each and every peso spent by the AFP will directly result in better equipment and other operational support for our men-and-women in uniform,” Abad said.

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