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President Beningo S. Aquino III led the ceremonial signing of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10349 in a bid to further upgrade the AFP’s defense capabilities for the country’s protection and security.
The ceremonial signing was held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace on Tuesday.
RA 10349 amends various provisions of RA No. 7898 otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act.
The law provides funds for the Revised AFP Modernization Program, as appropriated by the Congress, in the amount of P75 billion for the first five years to boost the AFP’s capability upgrade program as it shifts from internal to external defense capability.
RA 10349 institutionalizes the Defense System of Management (DSOM) which incorporates a collegial and collaborative process of planning and decision-making by senior leaders of the defense and military establishments in the determination of the major defense equipment needed by the major services of the AFP to enable them to perform their mandate.
The DSOM negates the possibility of arbitrariness and favoritism in the decision-making process for the procurement of major defense equipment.
Under the law, the DSOM is a strategy-driven, capability-based multi-year planning and execution process, which provides for a more scientific, logical and holistic approach to the assessment of the security needs of the country. It provides additional safeguards to ensure the procurement of the optimal and most strategic major defense equipment of the AFP.
The law grants “additional funding sources from public-private partnership entered into by the Department of National Defense or the AFP, as may be authorized by the President; and proceeds from the lease or joint development of military reservations, as may be authorized by the President, which previously needed the authority of Congress.”
RA 10349 allows multi-year contracts, while payments for outstanding multi-year contract obligations may extend beyond the fifteen (15) year period of implementation.
The law exempts from the value-added tax and customs duties the sale of weapons, equipment and ammunitions to the AFP, which are directly and exclusively used for its projects, undertakings, activities and programs under the Revised AFP Modernization Act, as well as the importation of weapons, equipment and ammunitions by the AFP.
RA 10349 incorporates new provisions on the congressional oversight committee to monitor the implementation of the Act, and on the “sunset review” of its accomplishments and impact of the Act.