MANILA, Philippines- Naisalang na sa plenaryo ng Senado ang panukalang Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program ng bansa, ayon kay Senador Jinggoy Estrada.
Sinabi ni Estrada, isponsor ng Senate Bill (SB) No. 2455 o ang Self-Reliant Defense Posture Revitalization Act, na layunin ng panukala na matiyak na may sapat na defense assets at kagamitan para sa bansa.
Aniya, magagawa ito sa pamamagitan ng domestic production at manufacturing, pagpapaunlad ng national defense industry at pagbawas sa pagsandig sa dayuhan at overseas suppliers.
Sinabi ni Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, pawang co-sponsor ng panukala, kahit dapat mabigyan ng sapat ng pondo ang Department of National Defense (DND) para sa pambili ng kagamitan, kailangan ding maitayo ang self-reliant defense posture.
“Hindi tayo nagkukulang sa puso at tapang. Kailangan lang matapatan rin natin ng tamang kagamitan,” ayon kay Zubiri sa kanyang co-sponsorship speech.
Aniya, nakadepende ngayon ang Pilipinas sa ibang bansa “kung ano ang pwede nilang malikha,” kung ano ang pwedeng iaalok at kung anong term na maaari nilang ibigay sa kanilang kagamitan.
“To be honest, I think maybe 90 to 95 percent of our defense needs have to be bought abroad,” ayon kay Zubiri.
“We cannot depend just on our allies. We also have to be able to produce for our own needs in our own time. We understand our terrain. We understand our waters, our skies, our threats, and our people the best. So, we can develop equipment that best suits our needs,” dagdag niya.
Sa ginanap na pagdinig ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation na pinamumunuan ni Estrada, sinabi ng DND na karamihan sa biniling kagamitan sa defense ay naisagawa sa pamamagitan ng government-to-government procurement.
“In 2022, military-related imports totaled approximately USD305 million, while arms-related exports amounted only to USD85 million. We aim to cure this significantly lopsided trade imbalance by providing incentives and government support to the local defense industry, and in the process stimulate job generation, promote transfer of advanced technologies, and expand our exports sector,” sabi ni Estrada sa kanyang sponsorship speech.
“This representation firmly believes that we have enough resources we need in our midst – manpower assets, natural resources, and Filipino ingenuity forged by our long history and tradition of seafaring and craftsmanship. No doubt, we have the capability to develop our own. We just have to throw our full support and lay down policies that will catalyze its growth, and exercise political will and strategic foresight to sustain its development,” patuloy niya.
Ayon kay Estrada, “SRDP Program was initially conceived and implemented during the 1970s which successfully met the basic requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through joint ventures and partnerships with the private sector to produce all-terrain light vehicles, radio for the operating troops, rifles, pistols and small arms ammunition, and textile industry that supplied close to 100 percent of the military’s clothing requirements.”
Nakasaad naman sa SB 2455: “The SRDP shall be designed to prioritize local employment and contribute to foreign currency exchange savings; incentivize manufacturers to establish or relocate production or assembly of materiel in the Philippines, while ensuring protection of local counterparts against unfair competition; promote technology transfer; drive proactive research and development efforts and the adoption of innovative technologies; and promote the export of locally-made materiel to other countries.”
Ipinanukala niya ang rayonalisasyon sa pagbili ng defense equipment sa pamamagitan ng preferential terms sa domestic suppliers at in-country enterprises, sa ilalim ng “Filipino First” policy.” Ernie Reyes