Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

DND: P60-B projects facing delays undergo Aquino's scrutiny

Two units of long range patrol aircraft worth P5.98-billion are in the shopping list of the military for its modernization program. Pictured here is a Lockheed P-3 Orion of the German Navy.

MANILA, Philippines — The military's multi-billion peso modernization program requires a thorough assessment to make it responsive to the emerging security challenges, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Thursday.

DND public affairs chief Arsenio Andolong said it would not be reasonable to expect Malacañang to approve the program without a careful examination of its items.

"The Department of National Defense fully understands the weight and importance of the Armed Forces Modernization Program and as such, it would be unfair to expect the president to grant his approval on the matter without thoroughly scrutinizing and reviewing every item in the program," Andolong said.

On Thursday, The STAR reported that the implementation of 28 military projects, including those intended to boost the country's territorial defense, are facing delays because Malacañang has yet to approve the Armed Forces Modernization Program.

DND submitted the upgrade program to the Office of the President in February 2013 in compliance with a requirement of the revised Armed Forces modernization law. The program, which outlines the projects to be funded, delivery schedules and costs, has yet to secure the president's nod.

Andolong said the Aquino administration has been supportive of the military's upgrade efforts.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

"Malacañang has always been fully supportive of the program and is subjecting it to a continuous evaluation in order to ensure its relevance to our dynamic internal and external security environment," he said.

For his part, Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said a big number of projects could still be contracted even if the modernization program is still awaiting approval.

The 28 military projects have a total cost P60.14-billion and include Navy frigates, air assets, radars and base upgrades.

Among the big-ticket items in the list are two Navy frigates worth P18-billion; three air surveillance radars worth P2.68-billion; six close air support aircraft worth P4.97-billion; two units of long range patrol aircraft worth P5.98-billion; multi-purpose attack craft project worth P864.32-million; night fighting system worth P1.116-billion; two C-130 aircraft worth P1.6-billion; two naval helicopters worth P5.4-billion; and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47-billion.

Also included in the program are four basing support system and logistics projects with a total budget of P2.15-billion. The projects seek to improve existing military facilities in strategic areas.

Other items in the upgrade program are Army radios, thermal imaging device, field ambulance units, armored personnel carriers, flight simulators, amphibious assault vehicles, combat systems, light utility vehicles and engineering equipment.

A senior security official said there are other means to implement the military projects in case the president does not approve the program.

The source said the DND could seek funding for each item. The process, however, would be longer because the budget approval would have to be done on a per project basis, the official added.

A total of P90.86-billion is needed to implement the military's modernization program until 2017.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1