Press Release
May 11, 2015

Senate relaxes rules on arms purchase

The Senate today moved to amend Section 4 (B) of Republic Act No. 10349, known as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act, as amended, to expedite the purchase of weapons and equipment needed by the military.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2269, said the proposed measure sought to relax the procurement process of military weapons and equipment and thereby hasten the implementation of the modernization act.

"The highly tedious, circuitous and complicated procurement process of the AFP thwarts the full implementation of the law," he said.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that the measure was part of the Senate's efforts to improve the capabilities of the nation's armed forces "by ensuring the speedy and efficient provision of military equipment and supplies so urgently needed by our fighting men and women."

Trillanes said a provision in the AFP Modernization Act disallowed the purchase of major equipment or weapons system unless they were used by the armed forces in the country of origin or used by the armed forces of at least two countries.

He said the passage of SBN 2269 into law would amend the provision by allowing major equipment or weapons system to be purchased as long as the same were used by the armed forces in the country of origin or used by the armed forces of at least one country.

"It is hoped that by relaxing the requirement, the acquisition process of the AFP can be unclogged, if not expedited, thereby hastening the implementation of the law," Trillanes said.

R.A.10349, or the Revised AFP Modernization Program was signed into law in 2012. This law was intended to extend the comprehensive efforts to modernize the armed forces for another 15 years and to introduce needed reforms.

Since then, Trillanes said, a total of 36 modernization projects worth P41.2 billion have been completed. (Yvonne Almirañez, PRIB)

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