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PNoy signs law boosting gov't arsenal with P75B

CITY OF BALANGA, Bataan, March 8 (PIA) -- Top officials in Bataan have expressed high hopes on getting beefier national security and economic development after President Aquino signed a law that will provide P75 billion to upgrade the armed forces, benefiting the government arsenal located in the province. 

Republic Act No. 10349 or the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program seeks to develop the army into a multi-mission-oriented force capable of effectively addressing internal and external security threats. 

It has a budget of P75 billion for the first five years of implementation that includes the procurement of major weapon and non-weapon equipment and technology, and the construction of needed major infrastructures. 

Bataan 2nd District Representative Albert Garcia said the law was a “landmark legislation” that was consolidated from his original House Bill No. 76 which sought to modernize the Government Arsenal, the country’s maker of basic weaponry and ammunition, located in Limay town. 

“I filed this bill as early as the 14th Congress precisely to rehabilitate our 370-hectare Government Arsenal in Lamao, Limay, Bataan which, to date, remains under-utilized and unproductive,” said Garcia. 

He said that only four types of ammunition are produced in the defense estate: the 7.62mm M80, 5.56mm M193, Cal .45 M1911, and 9mm Parabellum. 

“There is a need to upgrade the capability of the Government Arsenal to produce not only small arms ammunition but also higher caliber ammunition such as 40 cal., and even mortars and other crew-served weapons ammunition,” Garcia said. 

Also, the development of the land is projected to create more jobs for residents of Bataan and become a catalyst for economic activity, he added. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) which also gets munitions from the arsenal were elated over the law which a top local official said will be integral in sustaining national security and public safety.

“If we will be self-sufficient with ammunition and equipment, the police and soldiers will no longer get from other manufacturers. Kudos to Abet for pushing this law,” said PNP-Bataan Director Ricardo Zapata Jr., referring to the lawmaker

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Jose Mari Garcia | Philippine Information Agency | March 8, 2013 |  Article Link

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