Army reviews P350-M combat boots deal

By Jaime Laude, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 26 2014 09:28 AM | Updated as of Jul 26 2014 05:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Army has ordered a review of its contract to purchase combat boots after the boots were found to be unsuitable for combat operations.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri ordered the review of the P350-million contract following complaints of the elite Scout Ranger troops of the footwear’s flawed design.

Some 5,000 pairs have been delivered.

Iriberri ordered a stop to further delivery of Kubar combat boots and called for a review of the contract with supplier FilBoots.

Under the contract, FilBoots will supply the Army with 79,066 pairs of combat boots at P4,500 per pair.

The firm initially delivered some 5,000 pairs shortly after Iriberri assumed command of the Army, at a cost of more than P22 million out of the P350-million contract.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said field tests are still being conducted to further determine what should be done to improve the gear after the Army Scout Rangers complained of its flawed design.

Detoyato admitted to the possibility of scrapping the multimillion-peso contract with FilBoots but stressed the issue will be dependent on the official outcome of the field tests.

“We are still collating the findings of the tests and the outcome will determine whether we should recommend changes or rebid the contract,” Detoyato said.

The boots, some officials said, are copies of the gear used by US servicemen in the Middle East, according to sources.

“It’s only good for garrison duties on dry areas like deserts but not in muddy places of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, unlike those being used by the ground troops at present,” Detoyato said.