PH gov't sets aside P10 billion for AFP modernization

President Benigno Aquino III endowed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) P10 billion to become more effective in maintaining peace and order in the country.

In a press statement issued on Monday, October 24, Aquino ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release P10 billion for the AFP Modernization Program which will be used to acquire equipment and to finance capacity-building activities such as training.

“The President is committed to bringing all armed conflicts in the country to a permanent and peaceful end. One way to achieve this is upgrades for our soldiers, who are a key factor in achieving peace,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said.

He added that special allotment release orders charged against the 2010 and 2011 appropriations of P5 billion each are now being prepared.

According to the budget secretary, the AFP will use the 2010 P5 billion fund to equip the Philippine Army with 14 armored personnel carriers, 272 20W-Manpack radios and 3,480 units of force protection equipment which totals to P1.4 billion. The Philippine Navy will also procure a strategic sealift vessel that costs P2 billion while the Philippine Air Force will acquire a special mission aircraft and two light lift aircraft amounting to P1.6 billion.
                                
As for the 2011 P5 billion budget, the AFP will purchase vehicles for civil military operations, health services and disaster response activities. These vehicles will include Philippine Army’s 32 five-ton dump trucks and 55 special-purpose vehicles, and Philippine Air Force’s two search-and-rescue helicopters, 30 special purpose vehicles and 15 amphibian vehicles.

The AFP will also use the 2011 budget to purchase weapons and communications equipment such as 1,376 handheld radios, 210 AV configuration radios, 100 base radios, and 150 mortars (60 mm) for the Philippine Army, as well as 78 units of audio-video equipment, 160 portable radio receivers, 100 sniper rifle systems, and 2,000 standard weapons systems for the Philippine Air Force.

To ensure integrity in the use of funds, Abad said the AFP has been required to submit a comprehensive report on the implementation status of the AFP Modernization Program.

“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,” he said.

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