Billions spent in obsolete, decommissioned equipment and war materiel
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate scored the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for spending billions of pesos for obsolete and decommissioned equipment and war materiel under the supposed modernization of the armed forces.
During, the ongoing plenary debates on the 2015 national budget, it was revealed that from 2000-2013, a total of P53.166 billion has already been released during the first phase of the AFP Modernization Program. Last year, another P5 billion was also additionally released for the same purpose.
“To date the only notable purchases made by the AFP were the obsolete and decommissioned equipment mostly from the US, like the two (2) coast guard Hamilton class cutters and 22 vintage armed personnel carriers (APCs). These were all in fact purchased by the AFP in violation of their own modernization law and now they are asking for an additional P20 billion more,” said Rep. Zarate.
The AFP Modernization law Section 4 (b) states that “capability, materiel, and technology development – The AFP Modernization Program entails the development and employment of certain capabilities that can address the assessed threats: Provided, That the acquisition of air force, navy and army equipment and materiel of such types and quantities shall be made in accordance with the need to develop AFP capabilities pursuant to its modernization objectives: Provided, further, That the acquisition of new equipment and weapons systems shall be synchronized with the phase-out of uneconomical and obsolete major equipment and weapons systems in the AFP inventory: Provided, even further, That NO MAJOR EQUIPMENT AND WEAPONS SYSTEM shall be purchased if the same are not being used by the armed forces in the country of origin or used by the armed forces of at least two countries: ,Provided, furthermore, That only offers from suppliers who are themselves the manufacturers shall be entertained: Provided, finally, That no supply contract shall be entered into unless such contract provides for, in clear and unambiguous terms, an after-sales services and the availability of spare parts.”
“The defense department and the AFP should be held accountable for this; Congress should dig deeper further into how funding for this modernization program is being spent,” ended Rep. Zarate.