Monday, March 05, 2012

P4.7-B BCDA revenue used for 43 modernization projects: AFP

MANILA, Philippines - The military used P4.7 billion from revenue collected from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to complete 43 modernization and capability upgrade projects, the AFP’s Public Affairs head and spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. announced on Sunday.
“Out of the 43 completed projects, 19 were already delivered to the AFP and are now being used in the performance of our troops’ duties,” he said.
BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Casanova said of the turnover, “We at the BCDA believe that it is only fitting to compensate our soldiers’ hardship and sacrifices by contributing to the advancement of their capabilities and equipment so that they will be able to fulfill their mandate more efficiently and effectively. We sincerely appreciate the honorable service of our hardworking soldiers especially those who are in the frontlines bravely risking their own lives to make sure that our citizens are able to live a safe and peaceful life,” Casanova said.
In turn, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa said, “The military will compensate the recent juncture with our sustained efforts in delivering better public service and further boosting our external capabilities to uphold our sovereignty and integrity of our national territory.” 
Among the materiel delivered for the Army under the BCDA-funded modernization were 1,621 Night Fighting System and 6 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) M113; for the Air Force, 18 Basic Trainer Aircraft and one Aerial Camera; for the Navy, two Multi-purpose Attack Craft, four Landing Craft Utility and 76mm Ammunition; for the General Headquarters, one Integrated Radio Tracking System, Base Communication Network Project, Mobile Communication Network and Special Operations Communication Equipment, improvement of four AFP Medical Center Operating Rooms and Busbus Station Hospital; and for the Public Affairs: 62 units of Audio-Visual System.
Also delivered were 402 Squad Automatic Weapons for the three Major Services and 8,100 Force Protection Equipment for the Army and Navy.
For the last remittance tranche for 2011, the BCDA turned over recently P2.64 billion to the national government as proceeds from the disposition of former military bases. 
As one of the long-term major beneficiaries, the AFP got the largest share of P2.37 billion. This will add to the total previous remittances by BCDA amounting to P12.7 billion, which Burgos said had “paved the way for the obligation of the military’s modernization projects.” 
Aside from the shares received in the disposition of mentioned lots, the military also received share from non-sale transactions in forms of leases from several corporations.
Transactions of BCDA in which the military had a share include the sales of Fort Bonifacio, DOE/JUSMAG property in Quezon City, expanded Big Delta lot, and Camp Bagong Bantay.
“The disposition of former military camps such as the current Bonifacio Global City and Newport City brought about the turnover of the said amount to the national government. Said camps used to be the biggest military bases formerly known as Fort Bonifacio and Villamor Air Base,” Burgos noted.
Aside from BCDA proceeds, the Malampaya gas project in Palawan was also bankrolling the AFP modernization with the recent acquisition of naval vessels.
More vessels and aircraft are already in the pipeline to boost the country’s security patrol operations for its territorial waters, particularly in the West Philippine Sea, site of the disputed oil-rich Spratly Islands.
04-Mar-12, 8:54 PM | Jaime Sinapit, | Article Link

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