Thursday, September 25, 2008


While the President has given the Armed Forces of the Philippines until 2010 to eradicate the Communist Insurgency, the proposed 2009 Budget of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not sufficient to support operations to meet the deadline.

It may be said then that the thrust to defeat the insurgents is doomed to fail, not because the AFP is not competent to win battles, but because they lack the resources to carry on the fight to meet the objectives in the prescribed time.

For example, the 2009 Budget fails to fund the required additional 600 marines. Across the different major Service Commands, namely the Army, Air Force and the Navy, funds are even not enough to supply the mandatory 2 basic loads of ammunition for soldiers.

The operational tempo of the AFP needs to be increased in order to meet the 2010 deadline. But with many unfunded requirements by the AFP, the operational tempo needed may not be achieved.

With the pronounced target seemingly out of reach by the Armed Forces, two actions may be done by the government:

  1. Increase the appropriations for the Armed Forces of the Philippines in order to support their requirements to meet their targeted operational tempo.
  2. Review and reset the deadline to defeat the insurgents.

In the first option, it would necessitate the reduction of appropriations for other programs or other agencies since the total ceiling of the General Appropriations submitted by Malacanang cannot be increased by Congress.

In the second option, it would simply mean that the government will admit that the deadline originally set is unrealistic given the available resources.

It will be unfair to the AFP to be set up for a failure by setting a deadline that is not supported with the appropriations needed to fulfill the mission. The AFP has the will, determination, skill and the manpower to fight, but regretfully, the financial strength is sorely lacking.

It is hoped that when Congress considers the budget of the Department of National Defense and the AFP, the requests for additional funding will be granted.

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