Aquino signs into law Revised AFP Modernization Act

December 11, 2012 11:24 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Dec. 11 — President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday signed into law the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act extending the program for another 15 years.

The President said the new law will "boost the AFP's capability upgrade program as it shifts from internal to external defense capability."

"Napapanahon at makabuluhan ang paglalagda natin ng new AFP Modernization Act. Hudyat ito sa pagbubukas ng mas moderno, mas matatag, at mas mapapagkatiwalaang kabanata sa kasaysayan ng Hukbong Sandatahan ng Pilipinas," he said.

"Humahakbang tayo pasulong tungo sa isang pambansang tanggulan na may tunay na kakayahan na protektahan ang sambayanan laban sa anumang banta sa ating soberenya’t kaligtasan. Patunay din ito sa dedikasyon ng pamahalaan na itaguyod ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipinong bumubuo ng Sandatahang Lakas," he added.

Republic Act No. 10349 amends RA No. 7898 or the AFP Modernization Act. It has a budget of P75 billion for the first five years of implementation subject to the capacity of the Department of National Defense (DND) to utilize and implement the program in accordance with the Defense System of Management (DSOM).

The new law exempts certain major defense purchases such as aircraft, vessels, tanks, armored vehicles, communications equipment and high-powered firearms from public bidding.

It also exempts from value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties the sale and importation of weapons, equipment and ammunition to the AFP which are directly and exclusively used for its projects, undertakings, activities and programs.

RA 10349 also institutionalizes the defense system of management, which incorporates a collegial and collaborative planning and decision-making process by senior defense and military leaders.

It also allows additional funding from public-private partnerships entered into by the DND as well as multi-year contracts.

"Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga mambabatas, sa mga opisyal ng Department of National Defense, sa pangunguna ni Voltaire Gazmin, gayundin sa mga opisyal ng Sandatahang Lakas na nagtulong-tulong sa pagpapanday ng new AFP Modernization Act. Tiwala po akong sa mga susunod na buwan, magsisimula nang makita ng sambayanan ang mga kongkretong bunga ng ating mga pagsusumikap, gayundin ang pagtaas ng dangal at moral ng ating buong kasundaluhan," the President. (PNA)

FPV/LGI

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