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Aquino renews commitment for AFP modernization

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III renewed his administration’s commitment to modernize the country’s armed forces to ensure peace and security. 

During his speech at the fellowship meeting with the Philippine Air Force Aviation Cadet and Officer Candidate Alumni Association Inc. (PAFACOCAAI) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday evening, the President acknowledged the need of the Philippine Air Force for modern and additional aircraft that will guard and protect the Philippine territory. 

For instance, he said, the air force had only one C-130 cargo plane and flying times had to be divided among the pilots to accommodate all of them. 

“Ito po ang dahilan kung kaya’t isinusulong na natin ang pagpapasa sa New AFP Modernization Bill, na siyang mag-e-extend sa pagpapatupad ng ating AFP Modernization Program,” the President said. 

“Pitumpu’t limang bilyong pisong (P75 billion) paunang pondo ang nakasaad sa panukalang batas mula sa Department of National Defense ang inihain para sa unang limang taon ng implementasyon nito,” he said. 

Under the program, more aircraft and helicopters will be purchased, initially trainer aircraft so that pilots will have the know-how to fly once fighter jets arrive, the President said hoping that the fighter aircraft arrive ahead of schedule. 

As new planes arrive, the President said, the flying hours of PAF’s pilots would also increase as well as their capability to serve the people. 

Aside from providing the new equipment and planes, the government is also building decent homes of the country’s soldiers to improve their lives, President Aquino said. 

The government has completed the Phase I of the housing projects for soldiers this year, building 21,800 new homes for them, the Chief Executive said. 

Under Phase II of the program, he said, additional 31,200 new houses would be built for the members of the military, the police, fire fighters and prison guards. The project is expected to be completed in August next year. 

“Naniniwala nga po tayo: kung mayroon kang isang lipunang kumakalinga sa iyo, mas nabibigyan ka ng kakayahang gampanan ang iyong tungkulin, at arugain ang iyong mga kababayan,” the President said adding that he envisioned an armed forces that can readily respond to any future challenge. 

As the country traverses the righteous path, the President said Filipinos could now achieve their dream for prosperity and better security. 

“At kapag may kapayapaan, kapag may kaayusan, wala na nga tayong ibang patutunguhan kundi tuloy-tuloy na kaunlaran,” he said. 

Philippine News Agency | August 17, 2012 | Article Link


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