Modernization program going well; sub project to take time -- AFP

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 30, 2018, 11:16 am

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program is progressing well due to the attention and support provided by President Rodrigo Duterte but the decision to acquire diesel-electric submarines is still being deliberated upon.

This was emphasized by AFP deputy chief-of-staff for plans Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla when asked for an update on the matter and the Philippine Navy (PN)'s plans to acquire diesel-electric submarines.

"First off the AFP Modernization (Program) is progressing very well, we are very fortunate to have a Commander-in-Chief, who himself is the one strongly and hastily trying to advocate for strengthening the Armed Forces through an hastened AFP Modernization and hence the commitment of the President has been proven by his instructions to the Cabinet, their commitment has been solidified with the PHP25 billion pesos guaranteed inclusion (on) the GAA (General Appropriation Acts) of every year up to the end of his term to ensure that the major projects in the AFP modernization will push through," the military official added. 

Padilla also mentioned that the AFP modernization, which is a three-horizon capability build-up, is already on the Second Horizon or the starting point for completing all the requirements to meet internal security challenges and start meeting external security ones. 

"So this why you may have heard recently that the keel-laying ceremony for our frigate that was ordered from South Korea has been announced and that in essence by 2020 if I'm not mistaken, the delivery of the first working frigate of the PN will be in the offing. As to the submarine capability buildup this is very long term development, it is not something that we can get off the shelf, it is a capability that needs to be slowly, deliberately and in consultation with our allies, the United States included," he added. 

With this, decision on whether to acquire submarines will be made in due time, Padilla stressed. (PNA)