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9月28日のまにら新聞から

Zubiri promises to increase DND, AFP budgets for 2024

[ 297 words|2023.9.28|英字 (English) ]

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday promised to include a “large chunk” of additional funds to the proposed 2024 budgets of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Zubiri made this declaration during the Senate Finance panel’s deliberation for the agencies for next year as he commended the agencies for supporting and protecting the country.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said that the DND’s budget for 2024 was P1.2 billion, while P221.651 billion was earmarked for the AFP.

Zubiri assured Teodoro and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner that they will see a “drastic difference” between their proposed budget and their final budget in December.

After senators expressed their support, the proposed budgets of both agencies were approved by the committee.

“If we really truly want to defend our country and our seas, we must support their budget. Not only the budget that they have now…We’ll have another meeting after this. We are going to support, through the efforts of the Senate, an increase in their budget. Especially the defense pending,” Zubiri said.

“But you have our commitment, Secretary, generals…we already discussed it on a caucus, that we are going to allot a large chunk of additional funding for the AFP and the DND. So rest assured at the proper time, we will be meeting with you all in an executive session on where we will be adding the funds,” he added.

Zubiri said he will not mention the equipment they will be purchasing for the military’s modernization program but will discuss it with them in an executive session.

“We will not allow our neighbor in the North to bully us. we hear you loud and clear. We need more defense pending in our modernization budget,” he said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS