The Department of Defense’s decision to “reprogram” P9.4 billion of its funds will have minimal impact on the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
During the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they opted to return the amount to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which was initially allocated for the modernization of the AFP, to help with the government’s novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response.
However, he assured that modernization program will still push through in the coming years.
“Now, these modernization projects, which lost its funding, has been merely deferred to the following years,” Lorezana said.
DND has returned a total of P19.3 billion of funds to DBM, including AFP’s modernization budget, as part of its contribution to the government’s campaign against Covid-19.
Of the said amount, P9.7 billion should have been used for DND’s capital outlay, while the remaining P125 million if for the agency’s Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
A P300-billion budget was allocated for AFP’s four-year modernization program, which started on 2018 and would end on 2022.
Image credits: AP/Bullit Marquez