“We have been on track with our modernization program in the past three years with the acquisition of PHP53 billion worth of equipment,” said Philippine Army Commander Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año during his visit on Thursday to the Army’s 8th Infantry Division camp.
The Aquino administration has already acquired PHP53-billion equipment for the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) since the implementation of the Revised AFP Modernization Program of 2013.
He said President Benigno Aquino III has surpassed efforts of the past three administrations since the enactment of the AFP Modernization Act in February 1995.
On the part of the Philippine Army, among the delivered fighting equipment are R4 assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, hand-held radios, and night fighting equipment.
“We are expecting the delivery of trucks, more weapons and mortars. We are also improving our facilities to meet the world-class standard. This is part of transforming our Philippine Army into territorial defense mode,” Año said in a press briefing.
Under the Army’s Transformation Roadmap, government troops aim to achieve a status of “fully equipped Army with respectable image in Southeast Asia, capable of addressing any internal threats.”
“Filipinos are considered as one of the best fighters in the world because we have the values and resolve, but we need equipment to achieve that,” he added.
Republic Act No. 7898 also known as AFP Modernization Act was first made into law on February 23, 1995, intended to last for 15 years with an initial funding of PHP50 billion for the first five years.
The move to improve the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force was disrupted by 1997 Asian financial crisis and was eventually halted and neglected until the law expired in 2010, according to Año.
In December 11, 2012, the law was amended by Republic Act No. 10349 also known as the revised AFP Modernization Act, which extends the program for another 15 years with an initial budget of PHP75 billion.
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