Photo Release

September 27, 2023

Fortifying external defense: Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, during the public hearing of the Finance Subcommittee C Wednesday, September 27, 2023 on the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies, asks defense officials about the status of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Ejercito stressed the need to fast-track equipping the AFP with modern assets to protect the country’s territorial integrity, given the situation in the West Philippine Sea. “We are supposed to be in Horizon 3 (of the AFP modernization program) in 2023. I think we are still in Horizon 2 or Horizon 1. Where are we now?” Ejercito asked. Defense Sec. Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. said about 10 percent of the project remains to be accomplished in Horizon 1 while in Horizon 2, which will be carried over to Horizon 3, 51 out of 97 projects were already finished. “That’s why we really have to re-strategize it because the paradigms for Horizon 2 may not be valid anymore,” Teodoro said. The military modernization program's Horizon 3 is slated for 2023 up to 2028 while Horizon 2 is from 2018 to 2022 and Horizon 1 is from 2013 to 2018. All these horizons are geared toward acquiring equipment and weapon platforms that would equip the AFP to perform its external defense mandate. (Joseph B. Vidal/Senate PRIB)