AFP told Senate: Support us in modernizing, we don’t have the luxury of time

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is appealing to senators for an increased military budget to support the military modernization. AFP Chief-of-Staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr. proposed that military budget be within 2 percent of country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“I hope that our senators will really support us in this endeavor because we don’t have the luxury of time. Our threats are already there,” the top military official told senators in a hearing regarding China’s aggressive behavior in West Philippine Sea held April 7.

General Catapang said wars in the 21st century, the country is facing, are all global. “Global war on terrorism, global war on climate change, global war on maritime security,” the general noted.

“We are far behind in the region as far as the capability of the Armed Forces,” Department National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

National Security Council Adviser Cesar Garcia said that it is important for AFP to shift focus from internal threats to external as soon as possible. “It is very imperative to transition the armed forces from its domestic security focus towards an external or territorial defense role as rapidly as possible.”