Friday, February 14, 2014

DBM releases P3.8B for DND equipment upgrades February 11, 2014

From the Website of the President

DBM releases P3.8B for DND equipment upgrades February 11, 2014
MANILA — In a move to fast-track the modernization of the country’s defense forces, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a total of P3.68 billion to the Department of National Defense as part of its 2013 year-end releases.

In two separate Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) issued last December, a total of 18 priority projects, which include the acquisition of much-needed equipment upgrades, were given the go-signal and were accordingly charged against the programmed appropriations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program under the 2013 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

“When President (Benigno) Aquino (III) drew up his social contract with the Filipino people, he made particular note of our need to beef up the government’s ability to protect our citizens. We remain committed to this pursuit of peace and the rule of law, and one of the ways we’re reinforcing that is by supporting our Armed Forces’ modernization activities,” said DBM Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.

“These initiatives are of course necessary in improving our territorial defense capabilities and ensuring better national security,” he said.

Abad said the P3.68-billion release would benefit the DND general headquarters, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and the Government Arsenal.

Priority projects and acquisitions include strategic sealift vessels, small amphibian vehicles, multi-purpose assault weapons, sniper rifles, mortars, portable radio receivers, radio test equipment, production capability and facility upgrades, and technical forensic upgrades, among others.

In addition, Notice of Cash Allocations (NCAs) with a total of P6.62 billion were also issued by the DBM in the last month of 2013, that funded the acquisition of strategic sealift vessels, small amphibian vehicles, utility helicopters, communication equipment such as manpack radios and personal role radios, and other projects under the AFP Modernization Program.

“The Department of National Defense gave us their assurance that they would be able to obligate the funding released to them before the year ended. These projects and equipment acquisitions supported by the funds were already just short of award in terms of their progress in the procurement process when we approved the release,” said Abad.
Nevertheless, he said, the government will “continue to urge and encourage all national government departments and agencies to obligate their budgets as early in the year as possible.”

“This is exactly why we pioneered and implemented the GAA-as-release document regime this year, so that agencies are able to obligate their allotments at the very start of the fiscal year. This, among our other budget reforms, promotes the prompt delivery of key government programs, projects and activities, especially towards our goal of economic expansion and rapid, sustainable, and inclusive growth,” he added. (PNA)

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