Lorenzana: If we have peace, we can reduce military budget

Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2018 11:07 PM

MANILA - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he wishes for a peaceful country so the government can allocate more of its national budget for development.

Speaking to Tina Monzon-Palma and Tony Velasquez for the Christmas special of "The World Tonight," Lorenzana said he wishes for peace in the country.

"I like peace all over the country. If we have peace, if we can eliminate these threats to national security, we can reduce our military," he said.

According to Lorenzana, the government spends a lot of money for national defense.

"(The) military is eating a lot of budget from the national government. We pay an allowance alone, maybe it comes to around P200 billion a year. You add the PNP (Philippine National Police), another P200 billion. It's a lot of money," he said.

He also said reviving the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program can also help in lowering the budget for the military.

"Now if there is peace, that is why I am pushing for the revival of the ROTC, because they can be used as our reservists in these provinces. We have one battalion of reservists in one province that we can use anytime, that we can call," Lorenzana explained.

"So we could have a small regular army, but backed up by a huge reserve that would come from ROTC," he added.

The funds allotted for the military can then be used for other projects.

"So the benefits of a peaceful country is that we spend less on defense, and we could channel more resources to development," Lorenzana said.

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