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Duterte to spend P25B for military modernization in 2018

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The government is spending P25 billion for the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that will include the acquisition of brand new attack helicopters, tanks and other military hardware.

Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, said the acquisition of new military hardware was long overdue because since its enactment in 1995, the AFP modernization has been moving at a snail’s pace because of budgetary constraints.

Padilla said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has given top priority to the AFP’s modernization program during his term of office as he wanted the Philippines to earn the respect of other nations.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) had recently acquired a dozen brand new FA-50 jets from South Korea for PHP18.9 billion.

But this was still a far cry from its inventory years back when PAF was second in Southeast Aisa in defense capability with squadrons of jet fighters such as F-5s, F-8s, and Sabre jets that have been retired years ago.

At one point, the PAF had in its inventory over 140 helicopters but had drastically reduced over the years due to wear and tear.

The Air Force that will soon acquire supersonic jet fighters to boost the air defense capability of the Armed Forces.

Aside from planes acquisition, the Philippine Navy is also in dire need of brand new ships to secure the country’s long sea lane which is twice as long as that of the United States.

The Navy used to have a large number of ships but through the years many of them have been mothballed due to old age. (PNA)