• Armed Forces gets P1.4 billion budget hike

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    The budget of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been hiked by P1.4 billion in 2014 amid increased Chinese incursions in Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), it was learned on Tuesday.

    This was revealed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin before the House Committee on Appropriations, saying that P78.58 billion of the DND’s proposed P82 billion 2014 budget will go to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    The Armed Forces’ P78.58 billion proposed allocation for 2014 is higher than its 2013 share of P77.14 billion.

    Of the Armed Forces’ units, the Philippine Army will get the most budget for with P40.87 billion, followed by the Philippine Navy with P13.87 billion, Philippine Air Force with P12.5 billion and the AFP General Headquarters and AFP Wide Service Support Units with P11.36 billion.

    Army still topped the Armed Forces’ units in terms of allocation for Personnel Services with P34.61 billion. Far second is the Philippine Navy with the P9.14, followed by Air Force (P7.46) and the General Headquarters and AFP Wide Service Support Units (P2.67 billion).

    Likewise, the Army also had the most budget for the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses with P6.2 billion. The Air Force ranked second with P4.9 billion. The Navy settled for P4.4 billion while the General Headquarters and AFP Wide Service Support Units ended up with P3.6 billion.

    For the Capital Outlay, the General Headquarters and AFP Wide Service Support Units lorded over the field with P5.1 billion. The Navy followed with P285 million—leapfrog from last year’s zero allocation. Air Force was the far third with P103 million, while Army only had P53 million.

    DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo earlier disclosed that the DND is mulling on buying 12 fighter jets amid the increased Chinese presence in the islands falling within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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