AFP modernization program gets P25.01-B boost from BCDA

Published September 21, 2022, 2:09 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The ongoing revised modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received some P25.01 billion worth of funding from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) since 2017.

This was revealed by Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, AFP Chief of Staff, during a forum with BCDA officials at the New Clark City last Monday, Sept. 19.

“As such, on behalf of the men and women of the AFP, I express my wholehearted gratitude to the management of the BCDA for your invaluable contribution to building a stronger, more credible, and more capable Armed Forces,” Bacarro said.

Bacarro was the guest of honor in the said forum that tackled the role of the BCDA in the modernization program of the AFP.

He was also briefed on the BCDA mandate, plans and programs, and projects for the New Clark City. 

“As the CSAFP, I reaffirm the AFP’s commitment to sustain the engagement between our institutions to further strengthen and enrich our partnership for more productive collaborations in the future,” Bacarro noted.

Meanwhile, the BCDA reported that as of May 2022, it has remitted to the Bureau of Treasury a total of P80.46 billion since its creation in 1992.

The forum was also attended by BCDA Chairman Delfin Lorenzana, who once oversaw the military’s modernization program as the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary from 2016 to mid 2022; BCDA President and CEO, Aileen Anunciacion Zosa; and other executives from both agencies.

The BCDA is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) that was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 7227 which was signed into law by former President Corazon Aquino in 1992. 

It is mandated to transform former United States military bases in the country to alternative civilian use after the American forces withdrew from the Philippines when the Congress terminated the Military Bases Agreement in 1992.

Now, the BCDA acts as a development corporation vested with corporation powers, and engages in public-private partnerships to push forward vital public infrastructure such as tollways, airports, seaports, and major real estate developments.

Among the projects being developed by the BCDA include the New Clark City; various military camps including the Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga; Camp O’Donnel in Capas, Tarlac; Camp John Hay in Baguio City; and part of the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. (Martin A. Sadongdong)