AFP completes acquisition of engineering equipment to be used in Marawi rehab

Published March 27, 2019, 11:41 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Francis Wakefield

A total of 248 units of engineering equipment, packed with Integrated Logistics System worth P1.5 billion from China, was acquired by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to support the rehabilitation of Marawi City and nearby affected areas.

The AFP received the equipment from the Department of National Defense (DND) in a ceremonial symbolic hand-over on Wednesday, March 27 in front of the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Selected equipment were displayed in front of the grandstand categorized by distribution to the AFP’s Major Services; Army, Air Force and Navy. Among these were telescopic cranes, tracked dozers, road graders, scoop loaders, backhoe loaders, road rollers, transit mixers, dump trucks, and water lorries.

These were all blessed by the AFP Chaplain Service before handed over to its end-users.

The supply and delivery of the engineering equipment is under Horizon 2 of the AFP Modernization Program which was completed on February 12.

The first batch containing 114 units of equipment were delivered at Camp Pintoy, Iligan City while the second batch containing 134 units were delivered in Camp Aguinaldo, Villamor Airbase and Bonifacio Naval Station, all in Metro Manila.

Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna attended the event as the Guest of Honor and Speaker representing the Secretary of National Defense. The AFP Chief of Staff, General Benjamin Madrigal Jr, and The Deptuy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Major General Pio Q Diñoso III, led the attendees from the AFP.

“These equipment will not only help the AFP to support the continuous effort of the administration to facilitate the comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi as a city but also in performing our role in support to national development of the whole country,” Diñoso said.

In his speech, Luna said the symbolic turn-over ceremony of the 248 units of AFP Engineering equipment acquired from Polytechnologies of the Peoples Republic of China intended for the rehabilitation of Marawi City and nearby affected areas shall also be used for humanitarian aid/disaster relief (HADR) operations and other development programs of the national government.

“The implementation of this project and the upcoming donations from China serves as a testament to the growing bilateral exchanges between the Republic of the Philippines and China and its support to the AFP’s modernization program,” Luna said.

Luna said on May 15, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defense logistics cooperation was entered into by and between the Department of National Defense and Polytechnologies of China.

“The AFP Engineering Equipment Acquisition project with an approved budget for the contact in the total amount of one billion five hundred sixty million pesos (P1,560,000,000) is the first project implemented after the signing of the MOU on defense logistics cooperation between RP and China,” Luna said.

“On December 7, 2017, the negotiation between the DND/AFP Polytechnologies of the Republic of China was successfully conducted. Subsequently, the notice of award was issued to Polytechnologies last January 16, 2018,” he added.

Luna said it is also worth noting that as a demonstration of the growing bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China, the latter has donated various military equipment including rifles and ammunition to combat terrorism and more donations are still expected to be received by the DND/AFP.

“On January 25, 2019, during my visit to China for the bilateral meeting with Maj. Gen. Ci Guowei, Chief of Office for Internation Military Cooperation, Ministry of National Defense of PROC, we were able to conclude the signing ceremony on the agreement between the DND-RP and Ministry of Defense of PROC on China’s provision of military gratis to the Philippines amounting to rmb130 million or approximately P1 billion in support of the country’s counterterrorism efforts,” he said.