Congress heeds AFP upgrade calls. Solons now keen to modernize military: DND chief

35TH SAF ANNIVERSARY. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (center) is escorted by Special Action Force (SAF) Director Noli Taliño (right) during the 35th anniversary of the SAF with the theme “35 years of Committed Service for the Filipino, a Culture of Heroism and Gallantry” held at the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) Parade Grounds in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City on Tuesday (June 5, 2018). (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA, June 6, 2018 – With the reported militarization in the South China Sea, members of the legislative have grown more receptive to increase the budget for the military’s modernization program.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in an interview aired Tuesday by the ABS-CBN News Channel.

The latter took place in Singapore on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1-3.

“Now, I am hearing (that) some different tune from some congressmen and senators. Normally our (defense) budget is just one percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Now, I heard one congressman saying that it would be increased to 2 percent. That’s well and good,” he stressed.

This is in response to questions on whether the DND chief sees a sense of urgency from the country’s political leaders following reports of continued military build-up in the South China Sea.

“Some senators, we have heard, (are) saying they shall allocate sufficient funds for the Armed Forces to modernize their aircraft, their ships and the people, buy newer equipment than we have now. I think the perception of those in our Congress is changing also in the light of what’s happening in South China Sea,” Lorenzana said. (PNA)

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