12 September 2015
For the modernization program AFP requested for a budget of Php24 billion for 2014 and Php26.8 billion for 2015 (photo : militaryphotos)
The Armed Forces Modernization Program would have a total funding shortfall of Php20.8 billion in 2014 and 2015, which belies claims by some sectors that the military is provided with hefty allocation each year, according to a lawmaker during the hearing on the defense department’s Php141.84 billion proposed budget for next year.
Rep. Ashley Acedillo (Party-list, Magdalo) said during the hearing Tuesday of the House Appropriations Committee chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) that the AFP requested for a budget of Php24 billion for 2014 and Php26.8 billion for 2015 for its Modernization Program.
However, he said both amounts were not approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that for 2014, the AFP received only Php9.7 billion for its Modernization Program. For 2015, Acedillo said based on the AFP expenditure program, the DBP-approved funding for the military’s Modernization Program is Php20 billion, which is Php6.8 billion less than the AFP’s requested funding of Php 26.8 billion.
“In other words, there is a shortfall of Php6.8 billion in 2015. For 2014 and 2015, there is a shortfall of around Php20.8 billion,” said Acedillo, a former Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilot and officer.
Acedillo said while the government has other priorities to give funding support to, the AFP Modernization Program should be adequately supported for the country’s welfare and national security.
“As pointed out by our colleagues, we have many priorities. We understand that the AFP Modernization Program, spread for several years, will cost the government a lot. But we firmly believe that there is no price tag for national security,” said Acedillo.
He urged the government that should it slash the funding requests of the AFP, the reduction should not be too drastic. He also said the DND should work closely with the DBM and the House Committee on National Defense to find a solution to the budgetary requirements of the AFP Modernization Program.
Budget and Management Assistant Secretary Tina Rose Marie Canda said the original segregation or annual amount for the AFP Modernization Program is about Php15 billion a year. “We did not expect that there will be an acceleration in the acquisition of projects for the modernization program,” said Canda.(AngMalaya)
66 military projects set for delivery, completion by 2015 --DND
Sixty-six capability upgrade projects for the military will be completed by 2015, a ranking official of the Department of National Defense said during the hearing on the DND's proposed budget for next year at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Tuesday.
Defense Undersecretary for Modernization Fernando Manalo said that these include the attack helicopters, medium and light-lift aircraft, strategic-sealift vessels, and F/A-50 fighter aircraft.
This was in response to the question made by Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate on what equipment can the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expect within the coming years.
Manalo said they are ready to submit to Congress a more detailed description of the 66 military upgrade projects slated for delivery and completion next year.
The DND is proposing a Php141.85-billion budget for 2015. These can be broken down into: 37.75 percent for personnel services of the Army, Air Force, Navy; 15.29 percent for capital outlay; 17.11 percent for MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses); and 29.87 percent for pensions of retired military personnel.