important, says Palace official
MANILA, Oct 22 (PNA) -- Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
said on Thursday the government recognizes the importance of upgrading the
Philippine military so it would be on a par with its counterparts in the
During a press briefing in Malacañang, the Palace official noted that 56
projects under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization
Program have been completed, compared to only 45 under the previous
"Sa simula’t sapul ay kinilala ng Aquino administration ang kahalagahan ng
pagpapahusay sa mga kagamitan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas. Binanggit ni
Pangulong Aquino sa kanyang huling State-of-the-Nation Address na sa ilalim
ng kasalukuyang pamamahala, mayroong total of 56 projects sa AFP
Modernization Program ang naipatupad at nakumpleto, kumpara sa 45 doon sa
mga proyektong naisagawa noong mga nakaraang administrasyon," Secretary
Coloma said when asked to comment on a recent report that the country's
military ranks sixth in the list of the world’s worst armies.
The ranking was based on an online article posted by "We Are The Mighty," a
group of former American soldiers who turned to the Internet to provide
information to US servicemen.
In the same article, the group said "the Philippines' Naval and Air Forces
are still nearly 60 years old and its ships are old US Coast Guards
The group's list ranked the Philippines behind Costa Rica, Iraq, North
Korea, Eritrea, and Nigeria. At No. 7 is Tajikistan, followed by Mongolia,
Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.
Coloma said President Aquino has already approved the purchase of items
included in the second phase of the military upgrade.
"Nito lang nakaraang buwan, naiulat na sa mga pahayagan na inaprubahan ni
Pangulong Aquino ‘yung mga items na mapapasama sa panibagong yugto ng AFP
Modernization Act na naging batas noong December 2012. Mayroong, kumbaga,
Phase II ng programang ito at nabanggit sa mga pahayagan na ang ilan sa mga
big-ticket items ay ang mga sumusunod: dalawang navy frigates worth P18
billion, tatlong air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion, anim na close
air support aircraft worth P4.97 billion, two units of long-range patrol
aircraft worth P5.98 billion, multipurpose attack craft project worth
P864.32 million, night fighting system worth P1.116 billion, dalawang C-130
aircraft worth P1.6 billion, dalawang naval helicopters worth P5.4 billion,
at lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47 billion," the Palace
Coloma also mentioned the purchase of fighter jets from South Korea.
"Batid po natin na sa kasalukuyan ay hinihintay ang delivery ng isang
squadron — parang isang dosena yata ito — na mga fighter jets na galing sa
Korea," he said.
He said the purchase of military equipment shows how the government is doing
its best to improve the country's armed forces.
"Kaya makikita natin ang kongkretong manipestasyon ng ibayong pagsisikap na
gawing moderno ang ating Sandatahang Lakas at ito ay pinapatunayan sa
pamamagitan ng pagkuha ng mga pinakamodernong kagamitan na gagamitin ng
ating army, navy, at air force," Coloma further said. (PNA)