MANILA — The Department of National Defense said on Thursday it was asking Congress to review the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program to spur support for the last of its 3 phases or "horizons".
"A lot of our projects, particularly during Horizon 1 and Horizon 2—sa H1 almost completed na, konti na lang ang hindi pa nadeliver; sa H2, medyo malaki pa, may different stages of procurement," said DND officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr.
(A lot of our projects, particularly during Horizon 1 and Horizon 2— in H1 are almost completed, just a few need to be delivered; in H2, the backlog slighter bigger, there are different stages of procurement.)
"We are requesting Congress for a sunset review on the Revised AFP Modernization Program—this is as required by RA 10349," he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.
The review is meant to "generate congressional support for Horizon 3, which will start next year," Faustino said.
From 2013 to 2017, Horizon 1 resulted in the acquisition of 3 Del Pilar-class frigates and 2 strategic sealift vessels, among others.
Horizon 2 began in 2018 and would end in 2022. Under this phase, the Duterte administration allotted P300 billion for the procurement of new military capabilities, including offshore patrol vessels, corvettes, and land-based missile systems, among others.
Horizon 3 is slated for 2023 until 2028 and will prioritize achieving a self-reliant defense posture program, bringing in more sophisticated equipment such as fighter planes and ships.
"Medyo mahal mga ito (these are a bit pricy). We are trying to get congressional support para mapondohan (to get funding)," Faustino said of projects under the last phase.
He said the review was not meant for fault-finding and would instead align current needs with the budget allocated to the department.
“Through the GAA (General Appropriations Act ), we receive a certain amount allocated to us every year… We’re trying to review it in a way na if these are really what we need with the budget na kayang ibigay sa atin ng gobyerno (that the government can provide)," Faustino said.
“Walang pinapahinto [na projects],” he said.
(No project is being stopped.)
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