DND wants P10-B more for modernization

By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 04 2014 09:13 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2014 05:13 PM

MANILA - The Department of National Defense (DND) is seeking a P10-billion supplemental budget for the modernization of the Armed Forces.

Sources told The STAR the supplemental budget would fill in the amount that was not provided to the upgrade program this year.

Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR the DND needs P20 billion for this year.

However, only P10 billion was included in the General Appropriations Act, he added.

A supplemental budget is on top of the annual national budget passed by Congress.

In 2012, President Aquino signed a law allotting P75 billion for the first five years of the military’s modernization program.

The 2015 budget proposed by Malacañang sought P20 billion for the Armed Forces Modernization Program.

The amount will be administered by the defense secretary and shall be used exclusively to bankroll the modernization projects.

The allotment for the funds will only be released once the DND submits to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the recommendation by the bids and awards committees for the award of contracts.

A notice of award cannot be issued to a winning bidder unless the funds are available.

The DND is required to submit to the budget department, the House of Representatives appropriations committee and the Senate finance committee quarterly reports on the implementation of the program.

So far, the administration has completed 37 military upgrade projects worth P9.2 billion.

It is expecting the implementation of 14 others this year.

Fourteen projects worth P6.2 billion are slated for completion before yearend.