Philippines extends military modernisation law for further 15 years
By Jon Grevatt
Philippine President Benigno Aquino signed into law on 11 December measures extending the modernisation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a further 15 years and the allocation of PHP75 billion (USD1.8 billion) for defence procurement over the next five years.
The legislation, Republic Act (RA) No. 10349, also formally establishes processes that are geared to accelerate the AFP's acquisition of materiel by enhancing the efficiency and accountability of military procurement practices.
A presidential statement made reference to the rationale behind the move to bolster military capability, and the AFP's transition in recent years from a force focused on tackling internal threats - particularly insurgency - to one increasingly absorbed by a perceived requirement to secure off-shore territory.
The statement said the passing of the revised AFP Modernization Act will "further upgrade the AFP's defence capabilities for the country's protection and security". It added that the funding provided by the act will "boost the AFP's Capability Upgrade Programme [CUP] as it shifts from internal to external defence capability".
The revised legislation also enables the military modernisation effort to be boosted further by the proceeds of leasing military-owned land not considered vital to the Department of National Defense.198 of 643 words
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