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AFP to receive P4.9 billion to secure Phl territory

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MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has authorized the release of P4.95 billion to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s capability to secure the country’s territory, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday.

“The P4.95 billion will fund necessary capability requirements of AFP in its territorial defense operations, including providing a strong security perimeter for the Malampaya natural gas and power project,” Abad said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has allowed natural gas explorations, and the government wants to ensure 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,” Abad said.

In a statement, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the “amount is divided between the capability requirements of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.” 

“Of this amount, 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,” Abad said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine 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 DOE for Malampaya revenues.

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 AFP chief of staff was instructed to ensure that transparency and accountability provisions are complied with and that the status of procurements and other financial operations are posted on the military’s 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 a US Coast Guard Hamilton cutter that will provide operational platform to secure the Malampaya natural gas and power project and other service contract areas of the DOE, particularly the Reed Bank, Kalayaan Island group, and Mapun, Sulu Sea.

The military thanked the President for releasing the funds, saying this would boost their capability to secure the country’s territory.

“We thank President Aquino, our commander-in-chief, and the Filipino people for the full support in our endeavors as we perform our duties to the nation responsibly and efficiently,” AFP public affairs chief Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said in a statement.

“With this development, the AFP would be more capable and responsive in its mission of protecting the people and the national territory,” he added.

Burgos said the funds would be used to buy defense equipment that would enable the AFP to effectively secure the country’s natural resources. - Delon Porcalla, Alexis Romero, Iris Gonzales

ABAD AFP ALEXIS ROMERO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ARNULFO BURGOS JR. BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD COAST GUARD HAMILTON DELON PORCALLA DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY MALAMPAYA
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