17 November 2014
Strategic Sealift Vessels (photo : Defense Studies)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will soon acquire more than P23 billion worth of brand new boats, helicopters, rifles and other combat and communication equipment, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin announced on Monday.
In his speech during the 75th founding anniversary of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Gazmin said 36 projects with a total contract price of P23.39 billion were “already obligated and are just awaiting delivery” to the AFP.
Among the units to be acquired under the said projects are the following:
-Strategic sea-lift vessels (two units)
-Naval helicopters (two units)
-Attack helicopters (eight units)
-Medium-lift aircraft (three units)
-Light-lift aircraft (two units)
-Assault riffles (several units)
-Force protection and communication equipment (several units)
Gazmin said these projects were part of the AFP Modernization Program under Republic Act (RA) 7898 and amended by RA 10349.
Gazmin said that apart from the 36 projects, the DND, in line with the implementation of RA 10349 or the Revised AFP Modernization Program, has also lined up an additional 33 projects to be implemented over the next five years, from 2013 to 2017 with the total amount of P90.86 billion.
Gazmin said President Benigno Aquino III had already approved two projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Program—the acquisition of 12 units of surface attack lead-in fighter aircraft and eight units of combat-utility helicopters with a total contract price of P23.6 billion.
“To date, total payment made for these two projects amount to P9.74 billion,” Gazmin said.
Gazmin said other items set to be purchased under the Revised AFP Modernization Program are air defense surveillance radar system, long-range patrol aircraft, close-air support aircraft, C-130 Tango aircraft, anti-submarine warfare helicopters, frigates, amphibious assault vehicles, and various items of communication equipment and night-fighting systems.
Gazmin also boasted of the Philippine Defense Transformation (PDT) Roadmap that the DND has recently crafted to serve as guide of various government agencies in responding to disasters and other emergency situations.
“Even in peaceful times, we must be prepared to protect our countrymen from the wrath of nature and assist in saving lives and properties during disasters. We must also continue to inculcate in our citizens the importance of risk reduction and individual preparedness, and teach them how to counter-act the effects of earthquakes, typhoons, heavy rains, floods, and climate change,” Gazmin said.