Towards a Modernized Armed Forces

Manila Bulletin, January 3, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Towards a Modernized Armed Forces


MANILA, Philippines - Decades of underinvestment has left the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inadequately equipped to meet the challenges of the times, such that the year 2010 saw the Department of National Defense (DND) scrambling to provide the military with its much-needed tools and equipment.While a total of P331 billion was earmarked for the AFP Modernization Act of 1995, the law expired in February with only P28.9 billion of the budget utilized by the armed forces and with the Philippine military still standing almost half a century apart from its counterparts in terms of equipage.Recognizing the urgency to strengthen the AFP to enable it to keep up to its role of securing the nation and its people, then-Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales declared the department is working 24/7 to realize the defense modernization program, despite the expiration of the AFP Modernization Act.At the Philippine Army change of command ceremony in March, Gonzales announced the president has tasked him to work to immediately upgrade the country's armed capability. To do this, Gonzales said the government is adopting a new mode of procurement in which it will engage in a government-to-government deals in the acquisition of equipment for the AFP instead of transacting with private suppliers. In the first half of the year, the DND under the leadership of Gonzales pushed for the revival of the project calling for the purchase of 18 brand-new SF trainer aircrafts worth $13.1 million for the Philippine Air Force.The department also pursued the acquisition of brand new combat utility and attack helicopters, a refurbished C-130 cargo plane, modern firearms, and other much-needed tools and equipment for the military.According to defense officials, delivery of the initial batch of the eight brand new combat utility helicopters from Poland (instead of Israel) was due within the year following the signing of a P2.8 billion government-to-government contract between the DND and its Polish counterpart.Swidnik, a Poland-based helicopter manufacturer, was to produce the helicopters, which defense officials said met the PAF requirements.While Gonzales might have good intentions in pushing for the acquisitions, his move however, raised some questions, particularly from Sen. Francis Pangilinan who even accused him of engaging in midnight deals.When Secretary Voltaire Gazmin took over as the new defense chief, he declared the department is committed to the policies of transparency and accountability of the Aquino administration. Since taking over the post, Gazmin instituted changes to ensure that the ideals will be upheld at all times.In line with this, the DND invited members of the media to observe in the bid and award process in the implementation of the AFP modernization program. The observers from the media are in addition to the observers from civil society, the religious, anti-graft watchdogs and the business sector which were previously invited as observers.The AFP modernization had to take the back seat anew when Gazmin, during the last quarter for the year, ordered to defer action on the acquisition of big-ticket items under the armed forces modernization program, until certain issues are presented and acted upon by the Government Policy and Procurement Board.Among the projects, Gazmin approved the recommendation of the Board of Inquiry (BoI) to declare a failure of bidding for the acquisition attack helicopters for the PAF worth P3.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Towards a Modernized Armed Forces
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?