AFP operations won't be affected despite lower budget: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not be affected despite a lower budget for 2021.
"Our budget is not as big as last year because it decreased due to the pandemic," he said in the Laging Handa briefing.
The bicameral conference committee approved P205, 471, 178 for the Department of National Defense in 2021. In September, President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress for a P209.1 billion outlay.
Lorenzana said P31 billion of the 2021 budget will be allocated for the modernization of the AFP.
"It will not (affect the military operation) because the assets that we want to acquire are not like the equipment that we can buy in supermarket as it will require a lot of time," Lorenzana said.
"It's called long gestation period. If you order now, it will take years before the delivery," he added.
Despite the low budget, Lorenzana said the government will prioritize the acquisition of military assets that are in the pipeline.
"The priority are the signed contracts that are already in the pipeline, like the protective gear of soldiers and additional equipment," he said. Robina Asido/DMS