The Department of National Defense wants to buy 12 fighter jets, among other warships, under the Armed Forces Modernization Program.
This was revealed by DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo during the DND briefing and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.
Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa, however, cautioned the DND against purchasing fighter jets, saying that helicopters are more necessary because internal threats should take precedence over external threats such Chinese aggressions in the West Philippine Sea.
“Helicopters are more useful, especially during natural disasters. Look at our experience in the Compostela Valley last year when we had a hard time coming for the victims because of lack of helicopters,” Biazon said.
“If you can increase our helicopters, then go ahead and purchase jet fighters,” Biazon added.
The DND is asking for a P331 billion budget for the 15-year long AFP Modernization Program which started in 2007.
The DBM, however, has only released P53 billion thus far for the program. LLANESCA T. PANTI