Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri assured his support for the modernization of the Philippine Army (PA), which will transition from mainly addressing internal threats to addressing territorial defense under the “Pagkakaisa 2023-2028” development plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Zubiri went to the Army headquarters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig for an information briefing with Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Maj. Gen. Steve Crespillo, Maj. Gen Potenciano Camba, Maj. Gen Rommel Tello, Brig. Gen. Moises Nayve, Brig. Gen Benjamin Hao, Brig. Gen Alejandro Papa, and other officers.
“Being from Mindanao, I have seen first-hand how the Army has taken great leaps to keep our communities safe, and how the Army has made way for rebel returnees to reintegrate themselves as valuable contributors to our communities,” the Bukidnon-native Zubiri said.
He gave his full support for the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Act; pending Army-related measures in the Senate, foremost of which is the National Defense Act which is a priority measure of the Marcos administration and is aimed at providing mechanism for the coordination of departments and agencies in addressing the multi-dimensional facet of national defense and security; and the bill rationalizing the disability pension of veterans, which has been approved by the Senate, meant to increase the disability pension for military veterans in accordance with their disability rate.
Zubiri visited the Philippine Navy early May for the christening of two new patrol gunboats and the blessing of the newly upgraded Naval Shipbuilding Yard at the Naval Station Pascual Ledesma in Cavite City.
Zubiri assured the Army that the Senate will support its budgetary needs for 2024.
“I want to see our Armed Forces be on equal footing with the technology and equipment of our neighboring countries. For that to happen, we need better ships, new jets, missile systems, and armaments, among other things. This will cost a lot, but that’s the cost of protecting the country.” (PNA)