Press Release
August 23, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the passage of the measure that will further modernize the Armed Forces' emergency response equipment after the search and retrieval operations for the late DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and the two pilots of the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane was completed today.

Angara said the team that first responded to the crash site was not able to continue search operations come evening because they did not have adequate equipment for night-rescue.

He added that the Navy helicopter engaged in the search and retrieval operations had to make a precautionary landing.

"We have always had great need of equipment like air transport, radar surveillance, and sonars," Angara said.

"That is why we support the measure amending the AFP Modernization Act under Committee Report No. 138. This will modernize military infrastructure and equipment, and boost the capabilities of the Armed Forces especially in times of emergency and crisis."

Once passed, the measure will ensure that larger appropriations for the AFP Modernization Trust Fund. Under the measure, as much as P50 billion over the first five years can be appropriated for the modernization program, and thereafter an amount that will increase commensurate to the increase in Gross National Product.

"This means that more funds can be used to purchase more quality equipment especially for emergency response," Angara said.

"According to the President's recent SONA, P28 billion has been alloted for the program in less than two years. If the amendments to the AFP Modernization Act will be enacted, as much as P75 billion will be allocated for modernization over the next five years said the President," he explained.

Angara concluded, "The AFP Modernization Act is not just about stockpiling weapons and modernizing armed efforts, but also helping protect lives."

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