Military badly needs more money – AFP chief


ARMED Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. wants at least one percent of next year’s national budget to be allocated for defense spending even as he admitted that the country’s military capabilities are no-match against the Chinese.

Catapang made the admission amid reports on China’s ongoing reclamations in disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)

Apparently reacting to the apparent military activities in contested waters, he said, “I hope this is just like an [SM] Mall of Asia that they are constructing but I think they have some military or defense purpose.

The Philippine military had noted that seven reclamations are taking place in the conflict areas.

In a news briefing, Catapang showed aerial photos of the ongoing reclamations, including two that are inside the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.

He did not say who took the photos, which were taken in December last year and in February and March this year.

“So as [of]now we have monitored about seven reclamations in the area but we are much more concerned [with]two specific areas [that are]inside our exclusive economic zone.

These include the development that they [Chinese] would like to do in Mischief Reef, also in Mabini Reef and Chigua Reef, all of these are inside the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of the Philippines,” Catapang said.

When asked if the AFP is not frustratedabout not being able to do anything to stopping China’s apparent military activities and saber-rattling, he replied, “That’s the reality.”

He noted the need to increase military and defense expenditures and suggested that if the country cannot raise them to two percent of the gross national product (GNP), a law must be passed to allow the AFP modernization to be secured for the next 15 years.

“What I am proposing is that at least one percent of the national budget, approved national budget, will go [to]improvement of the capabilities of our defense and military units, to include the OCD [Office of Civil Defense] because we are fighting or facing also another global challenge, which is global climate change,” Catapang said.

He, however, pointed out that the AFP is prepared to defend the country, citing continuing naval patrols and troop supplies in the West Philippine Sea.

The AFP chief said it is now up to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to decide on what to do regarding the matter.

“Our job is just to know what is happening in the area and it is up to our national leaders to give us the marching orders on what to do,” he added.

“What we would like to highlight here is it’s not only the Philippines that should be concerned about what’s happening in the West Philippine Sea but entire nations or countries all over the world,” Catapang said.

According to the AFP chief, he is hoping that the Chinese government will recognize the Philippine claim to areas in the disputed waters so that no provocative actions will be taken against Filipino troops deployed there.


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  1. Sorry Catapang, the budget is too tight to help the AFP. Perhaps you can ask P-noy to spare a few billions from the budget of his pet project, BBL. That is his main priority for now.

  2. ATTENTION: M.Times kindly check and verify a high-level official from either Italy or France was so furious over a “done deal” (signed & approved by pNoy & Gazmin) that was circumvented by M.
    Source: OOTP

  3. It goes without saying, kaya tahimik at hindi maka-imik (can’t denounced) ang dating pangulo kasi “guilty” sa derailing ng AFP modernization.

  4. And, yes, just like Gazmin… who among the people power generation did NOT admire then FVR?
    Emphasis on “then”.

  5. Thanks Ikabod bubwit for reminding about that deal at Ft. Boni. And I remember over a dozen taxi drivers and ex-army who’s pissed with “tabako”. They all agree, “#@!*+= inang tabako yan! Sila-sila Lang ang nakinabang sa bentahang yan!!!”

  6. To our Brave General Catapang, you are right that the military wasnt given enough funds to further enhance its capability in terms of high tech equipments and top of the line defense facilities. This really are the problem that our military faces because of several reason. A) They tolerate their peers corruptions practices since the time of President Cory Aquino. B) Former Top Generals didnt lift a finger if there is a coup as long hands out was given to them. C) The Former Top Generals goes elbow rubbing with the former administration to maintain good standing with the administration even when corruption in purchases is being done in front of their nose. D) No urgency for upgrading request because there seem to be no long term plan in the first place.
    As far as I can recall after the fall of President Marcos. only the Administration of President NOYNOY started the honest to goodness in purchasing vital equipments and materials to enhance the present arm forces . but of course one administration is not enough. The Military next time must watch out and be diligent in protecting the military establishment in a new administration . No corruption must be allowed and continuous improvement is must goal for them . You are the protector of our country from external aggression and internal strife with various anti government groups. No protection for corrupt administration must be allowed. This is a way to a right direction.

  7. It is all fault by the DND of gazmin, prefering a Brand new frigate compared to a 1983 2 maestrale frigate of Italy which still equip of modern armaments SAM and still used by NATO in military naval exercise.The reason by DND is this new ship has less to maintain but look to build 1 frigate new warship will take 3 years…example when china expand its navies they bought 2nd hand frigates & destroyers from Russia for the meantime but now they are now building their own warship copying what they have bought..Its a matter on how to maintain and china are still using it now…If only they have buy those 2 Maestrale Frigate from italy 2 years ago then China would have a second thought in creeping the reefs and shoals of WPS as it will serve as a deterrent while patrolling the WPS and while waiting a for 1 brand new frigate build from S. Korea.Thats why we are still in the Oldernization not on Modernization Program..

  8. Just ask for a Loan from Billionaires who had business in the Philippines i think it is enough to purchase those arms that are mention in this site and make a direct goverment to goverment purchase so to avoid corruption by DND and some of its officials in procurement of arms and by then those Businessmen will trust you to in helping a loan from them..Try it there is no harm in trying..

  9. Ikabod Bubwit on

    Whatever happened to the 150 Billion pesos that was paid for Fort Bonifacio when it was privatized by Ex-President Fidel Ramos ???

    I remember Ramos saying that it needs to sell Fort Bonifacio in order to modernize the AFP. What happened to the money ???

    It seems nobody in Congress is even asking !!!

  10. Since buhay pa ang mga !@#%& sa DND…. alam mo na ang sagot: walang honor at kunsensya!!!

  11. If all those money that the politicians steal from the government are channeled into the Military, we won’t have to beg for arms to defend our nation. That is why people found guilty of plunder should be meted out with the death penalty because stealing from the government is TREASON!

  12. get the money allotted to BBL, that is 75 B, no need to give it to the Bangsamoro nation, use it for PH nation

  13. Read Manila Times, general sir! Listen to the people and live up to your “name”, sir.

  14. Crisostomo Ibarra on

    You can help stop the corruption and then funding will start flowing. Moreover, we also have the option to borrow. Lastly, if AFP is seriously planning to modernize, might as well get the armaments that will make a difference. If they will allow us to purchase, this is what i will recommend:
    1. ATACMS (army tactical missile system)
    2. GMLRS (guided multiple launch rocket system)
    3. Patriot missiles
    4. Surface to Air missiles

    Unlike aircraft and naval vessels, these systems are easy to operate and does not require long intensive training.

    If possible anti-submarine technologies, ASW Sensors.

    This will give our country at least some degree of capability in terms of protecting our Sovereignty.

    • Your proposal is goog bu thow about those shoals and reefs reclaim by china that they are building structures? what shall we do to destroy it? send troops to stop them or what..any best suggestion?

    • Crisostomo Ibarra on

      Ooops, one more, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Broad Area Maritime Surveillance.

    • Crisostomo Ibarra on

      @ Dab, we point the ATACMS (army tactical missile system)
      and GMLRS (guided multiple launch rocket system) at those structures and press the button.

      Last time I looked at the map we are closer to those islets, the hardware i previously mentioned can operate well within those ranges.

      Provided we have international support and if we build enough guts to stand up to these bully.

  15. This is the most obvious sign that Filipinos are fed with wrong information regarding the economy, because BS Cojuangco Aquino III administration keeps telling Filipinos that the Philippines, can rival the Chinese economy and is one with the highest GDP.

    While, China had been increasing their military budget to modernized their military to rival the west (USA), our Philippine military leaders are voicing out their greatest concern of not having the necessary budget to confront China on Spratly Islands dispute.

    However, this BS Cojuangco Aquino III government with the aid of traitors like Deles and Ferrer, is going to throw hundreds of billions of tax payers monies to a few lawless criminals (MILF) and even would give them swatches of land as reward for their belligerent behaviour.

    Catapang to acknowledge the fact that the AFP is frustrated that it is not able to put a stop on China’s activity down south, is worthless and reprehensible, because he cannot even put a stop on the objectionable demands of MILF on its BBL – for him to have credibility at all, he should stand his ground and question the executive body, about their unaiding efforts to make AFP strong against internal or external threats.

  16. Gen.Catapang before you ask for more money you need to clean your ranks first of corruptions.Sec.Gazmin and his gangs are looting the money for the AFP modernization program including the money to improve the Pagasa island.

  17. Philippines Military seriously needs money to modernize its weapontry to defend its country- at least against the Mindanao rebels & terrorists,,,but the Bangsmoro (MILF & BIFF) is getting $75 Billion !!! For what? Livelihood or arms purchased? Tnx to Pinoy, western powers & malaysia. Kawawa ang bansa natin.

    • Correct you will be competing by then the MILF budget while they get huge Budget the AFP gets a banana only. One day your AFP will wake up that the MILF has Destroyers .Attack Helicopters, MBT,SAM & F16 fighter jets to destroy the it hilarious?

  18. Tagal na ng modernization natin panahon pa ni ramos saan napunta ang pera di ba sa graft and corruption lang. PWE PWE PWE.

  19. Very funny. Paano ka bibigyan ng Congress Nya at ni Minsan Hindi ka nagpakita ng Balls mo to hold yung mga Reefs, Shoals at Islets natin. Ang masagklat pa nag withdraw ka sa Scarborough Shoal. Ngayon humihingi ka ng increase? Anong nangyari sa Tour of Duty mo bilang Chief of Staff at nakuha yung mga Reefs, Shoals at Islets sa Spratlys Group of Islands? Buti pa yung isang Chinese General 3 years ago meron Plano sa Spratly at yung recommendation Nya “CABBAGE STRATEGY” at sa ngayon underway na at 100% mawawala na rin yan Ayungin Shoal at Pag Asa Island. What have you done during your Tour of Duty? Iniwan mo rin sa ere yung GALLANT SAF 44! You deserved to retire early sir at mas OK pa yung mga Colonel mag lead ng AFP sir!

    • Isa pa Bakit yung Boss mo ibibigay yung 75Billions sa MILF Na mas kailangan ng AFP? Are you blind sir? Just asking!

  20. sonny dela cruz on

    Catapang should plan an invasion of Malaysia. Once we defeat Malaysia, the Philippines will have a newer fighter planes and military ship and a lasting peace in Mindanao.