President Rodrigo Duterte checks out the display of equipment produced by the Government Arsenal on the sideline of the DND Anniversary celebration on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, in Quezon City. Malacañang Photo
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines still has a long way to go to become self-reliant in defense production, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday.
But the defense chief hopes that the Philippines will have a modest defense industry before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down in 2022.
“We are still a long way of achieving a true self-reliant defense posture (SRDP). But with the help of our Congress and strong backing by our President, we will be on the road to achieving a modest defense industry by the time the President leaves office,” Lorenzana said in his speech at the Department of National Defense’s 80th-anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo.
The Philippine Aerospace and Development Corporation, which was transferred by Duterte under DND early this year, is now being reformed, transformed and capacitated to support the country’s SRDP, the defense chief said.
“It will serve as a company for maintenance, repair, and operation of our aircraft,” he added.
The government’s SRDP capability, which has been in place for decades, aims to develop its own manufacturing capabilities and using to the fullest local resources as the source of the country’s defense needs.
Without this capability, it is believed that the country could only rely on what other foreign nations would be willing to offer or supply.
But the government has allocated a small budget for research and development, which plays a big role in self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
At a budget hearing this month, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the government has allotted a “pitiful” 3.9 percent of the entire budget for research and development.
“Paano tayo mag-advance in this department kung nilalagak na pondo ng gobyerno for R & D is 3.9% of the entire budget?” he pointed out.
Edited by KGA
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.