By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released on Thursday, the status of its P 3.9 Billion unutilized budget for the AFP Modernization Program as reflected in the 2017 Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA).
The AFP also expressed its appreciation to the COA for informing it about the unutilized funds intended for the acquisition of equipment under the modernization program. The report gave the military an opportunity to highlight the status of its projects specifically the stringent requirements of Republic Act 9184.
Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, said the AFP Modernization Program is divided into three horizons. The first was implemented from 2013 to 2017; the second is from 2018 to 2022, while the third is from 2023 to 2028.
Detoyato said the shopping list for these horizons were carefully selected through intensive planning with due consideration of the current security requirements.
“The AFP is mindful about the zero-tolerance of the President on corruption that is why it is very careful with regard to the contracts that the AFP,” Detoyato said.
“Technical working groups on each modernization project are very keen on the qualifications of the companies who will be awarded the contracts. This is to ensure that they are competent and have the capability to provide the needed assets,” he said.
Detoyato said modernization process takes years to allow time for the careful procurement of quality assets relative to the military’s specifications.
For purposes of transparency, the AFP revealed the status of each project:
1. The acquisition of Civil Engineering Equipment – Dozer and Grader amounting to P95, 709,768 was obligated in June 8, 2018. The acquisition was delayed due to the change of the technical working group chairman.
2. The Tractor Heads and Trailers with Independent Link Suspension (ILS) from the same project, amounting to P20, 902,075 was obligated on the same date, June 8.
3. The AFP Civil Engineering Acquisition Project amounting to P1, 559,952,364 was completed in January 2018. The project was delayed for a month due to the clarification of existing agreements.
4. The 50, 000 units of Pistols amounting to P876, 196,550, are currently in the procurement and inspection process. The delay for the procurement was caused by the failure of the test units during endurance testing.
5. The acquisition of 145 units of Reflex Sight for the Presidential Security Group, Basing System Project for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), and the Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft ILS which will be delivered and completed in July 2018 has remaining P5, 559,394 unutilized. The residuals will be returned to the Bureau of Treasury to be processed by the AFP Accounting Center.
6. The remaining P7,913,592 residuals from the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE 2017) are also undergoing Return of Residuals being processed by the AFP Accounting Center.
7. Other projects that have remaining savings/residuals that are undergoing Return of Residuals are the following:
a. PAF LRPA Basing and Hangarage Construction Project (P520,450 worth of savings/residuals)
b. PAF 3rd Weather High Endurance Cutter (P454,046,762 worth of savings/residuals)
c. PAF Radar Basing Support System Project – Paredes Air Station (P5,901,983 worth of savings/residuals)
“Delays were expected in the procurement process of these items but rest assured that the AFP is doing its best to expedite the delivery of much needed assets without compromising their quality relative to our required specifications,” Detoyato said.
“The AFP assures everyone transparency in the implementation of its Modernization Program and that it will not hamper on-going and future military operations,” he said.
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