By Priam F. Nepumuceno
MANILA, July 21 (PNA) — “A big impact,” this was Defense public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong commented on the projected Php25 billion budget for his department in 2016.
President Benigno S. Aquino III is scheduled to present the proposed 2016 national budget, which amounts to Php3 trillion on Tuesday after his state of the nation address (SONA).
“That will have a big impact for our (AFP) Modernization Program should it be approved by Congress,” he said in Filipino.
The proposed Php25 billion for defense comes in wake of ongoing territorial dispute with China over some features of the West Philippine Sea.
Andolong said any support from Malacanang and the Treasury will go a long way in acquiring modern weapons and equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
For 2015, the Department of National Defense’s budget was only Php20 billion or Php5 billion lower than the proposed 2016 defense budget.
Andolong noted the defense budget for nest year was formed based on the recommendations made by senior military leaders especially those concern with modernization. (PNA)