18 November 2014
P41.38B already spent on 46 military modernization projects (photo : aol)
The government has set aside P90.86 billion to sustain the implementation of the defense and military modernization program until 2017, President Aquino announced on Monday.
The President shared the government’s initiatives to further upgrade military capacity and equipment at the 75th anniversary of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo.
“Ongoing na rin ang ating DND Medium Term Capability Development Program na saklaw ng ating Revised AFP Modernization Law. Sa programang ito, 33 proyekto ang kinukumpleto na natin na aabot hanggang 2017. Ang halagang inilaan na natin dito: P90.86 billion. [The DND Medium Term Capability Development Program under the Revised AFP Modernization Law is ongoing. Under the program, 33 projects must be completed by 2017 with a budegt of P90.86 billion],” the President said in his speech.
The President said the government has already spent P41.38 billion on 46 various military modernization and capability upgrade projects from June, 2010, to October, 2014. Aquino took pride that his administration has surpassed the 45 combined projects of three previous administrations since 1995.
“Mayroon pa tayong natitirang mahigit isang taon at pitong buwan, kaya’t tiyak na madaragdagan pa ang makukumpleto natin [We have one year and seven months left so I’m certain we will complete more projects],” the President said.
In 2013 alone, Aquino said 12 projects, including the purchase of two modern ships, three naval helicopters, and eight combat utility helicopters, were completed under the AFP modernization program.
He also welcomed the formation of the Philippine Defense Transformation Roadmap 2028 that will ensure all reform initiatives will be implemented.
Benefit for Soldiers
Apart from the military upgrade program, the President assured that the government will continue to provide benefits for the country’s brave soldiers such as decent and affordable housing, reforms in their pension system, and livelihood programs for retired and active soldiers.
With these programs, Aquino said gone are the days when soldiers and their needs are neglected. “Ang nais natin: Ipagkaloob ang mga benepisyong karapat-dapat lang matanggap ng mga nagmamalasakit sa bayan [Our goal is to provide the benefits commensurate to those who cares for the nation],” he said.
While the government promotes the welfare of soldiers, Aquino said he has higher expectation from the military to improve its service, particularly in protecting the country’s sovereignty.
Ready to Assist
“Makakaasa naman kayo sa pagpapakitang-gilas ninyo, lalo ring ginaganahan ang inyong liderato na tulungan kayong lampasan ang mga hamon ng inyong misyon, at maging ang inyong pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan [Rest assured that while you perform your job well, the government is ready to assist you in overcoming the challenges of your mission as well as daily needs],” he added.
In the same ceremony, the President lauded Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin for the significant reforms in enhancing the nation’s defense capability while looking after the welfare of soldiers. He cited the great public service rendered by Gazmin, particularly when he combated numerous coups against the administration of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino. Gazmin was then head of the Presidential Security Group.
Aquino also commended the group of awardees during the DND event for their tireless service to the flag and Filipino people.
“Nawa’y lagi kayong magsilbing huwaran sa inyong mga kasamahan upang lalong pagbutihin ang pagtupad sa tungkulin [I hope you will serve as role models to your colleagues to improve the fulfillment of your duties],” he said.