GA, Bataan freeport forge pact to expand local arms production

Published June 28, 2022, 10:49 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Department of National Defense’s Government Arsenal (DND-GA) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) to broaden the country’s capability to manufacture arms and other advanced military technologies.

Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Delfin Lorenzana (middle) reacts as Government Arsenal Administrator Director Arnold Rafael Depakakibo (left) and Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) Administrator Emmanuel Pineda shake hands following the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on June 27, 2022. The MOA allows the GA’s 370.371-hectare Defense Industrial Estate (DIE) to be the newest expansion area of the Freeport Area of Bataan. (Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defense)

DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday, June 28, that the MOA allows the GA’s 370.371-hectare Defense Industrial Estate (DIE) to be the newest expansion area of the Freeport Area of Bataan.

This means that the estate will be utilized in the development of the GA’s capability to produce basic weapons, ammunition, and other munitions for the use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

The agreement also states that both AFAB and GA “will work collaboratively” to establish and operate the GA FEA as a “sustainable defense-industrial base” and encourage more defense investments, generate employment opportunities, and develop the province of Bataan.

“This also allows the AFAB, as the GA’s Incentives Administration Authority, to market and transact with investors within the GA FEA,” Lorenzana said.

The MOA was signed by Ret. Major Gen. Arnold Rafael Depakakibo, GA Administrator Director, and Emmanuel Pineda, AFAB Administrator, on June 27. The joint venture is seen to help sustain the AFP modernization program and contribute to the “Self-Reliant Defense Posture” of the country.

One of the earliest defense industry investors to benefit from the GA and AFAB partnership are a Filipino corporation which recently partnered with a United States-based company to operate a weapons assembly facility inside the FAB.

Asia Defense and Armament Corporation (ACAC) teamed up with the US-based Daycraft Systems Corporation signed a joint venture agreement last month to supply customized equipment for the AFP and other related agencies.

“The recent signing of the FAB – DND Government Arsenal agreement paves the way for defense industry investors such as the Asia Defense Armament Corporation and Daycraft Systems Corporation Joint Venture to locate and manufacture advanced military technology in Bataan,” said AFAB’s Pineda.

“We are looking forward to working with them as the first defense enterprise to register in the upcoming FAB Annex in the Government Arsenal and we are honored to host them and eagerly anticipate the innovative, technology led military products they specialize in,” he added.

ADAC, which is located in Taguig City, is engaged in the manufacture and trade of defense and security-related products in the Philippines which includes, defense robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, cybersecurity systems, and ammunition equipment.

“We welcome the benefits and incentives provided by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) to locators in the Government Arsenal as these aid local industries in their goal to support the Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program of the Philippine Government,” said lawyer Glenn Ceasar T. de Guzman, ADAC’s Corporate Secretary.

Meanwhile, Daycraft is a manufacturer of defense products for safety and peacekeeping. It has more than 50 years of experience in electronics manufacturing and weapon systems controls business, according to Daycraft President Chad Day.

 
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