08 September 2011
BRP Gregorio del Pilar (photo : ofwtoday)
Aquino orders release of P4.95 billion for AFP territorial defense
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III has directed the release of P4.95 billion to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) capability to secure the territory of the Philippines.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the fund will be used for the necessary capability requirements of AFP in its territorial defense operations, including providing a strong security perimeter for the Malampaya Natural Gas and Power Project.
“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.
The amount is divided between the capability requirements of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.
Of the P4.95 billion, P2.65 billion will fund base support and logistic system, coast watch requirements; and the acquisition of a high-endurance cutter sea vessel and three helicopters of the Philippine Navy.
Meanwhile, the Air Force will be using P2.30 billion to purchase three helicopters and develop a base-hangar.
The total amount of P4.95 billion is charged against the Special Account in the General Fund (Fund 151) being maintained by the Department of Energy for Malampaya Revenues.
Abad said the use of the amount released to the AFP should be in compliance with budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations to curb discretion on the management and spending procedures and allocation.
Pursuant to Section 97 of the General Appropriations Act of 2011, the Chief of Staff was instructed to ensure that transparency and accountability provisions are complied with and that status of procurements and other financial operations are posted on the AFP official websites and those of the major services.
In April this year, P423 million was released to the AFP-General Headquarters for the acquisition of vessel US Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton that will be used to secure the Malampaya project and other Philippine claimed areas in the West Philippine Sea particularly the Reed Bank and Kalayaan Island group.