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The Senate has increased the budget of the Department of National Defense for 2021, Senate defense committee chairman Panfilo Lacson said Friday.

Lacson, who sponsored, the DND’s budget, said the DND proposed a budget of P345.311 billion, but the Department of Budget and Management approved only P208.705 billion.

He said the House of Representatives raised the budget to P210 billion, while the Senate finance panel added P5 billion. “So it’s now P215.705 billion,” Lacson said.

But Lacson said they will also leave no room for the DBM to impose “FLRs” (For Later Release) on institutional amendments at least, because that would be a violation of the authority of Congress to give the authorization to spend.

“We’ll make sure by way of a special provision, at least the institutional amendments introduced by senators. I can say that with conviction,” he said.

The Senate’s proposed budget for the DND is P215,705,354,000, including P1.3B for the Government Arsenal, P139.7M for the National Defense College of the Philippines, P1.25B for Office of Civil Defense, P842.4M for the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, and P2.177B for the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ proposed budget is P209 billion including P98 billion for the Army, P30 billion for the Air Force, P31.8 billion for the Navy, and P48 billion for AFP General Headquarters and AFP-wide service support units.

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