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Strengthening the Philippines’ defense posture is still on top of the reform priorities of the Duterte Administration.

For 2019, the budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) has gone up to PhP183.4 billion. This translates to a 34.4 percent increase over its 2018 cash-based equivalent budget of PhP136.5 billion.

“The DND has the fourth biggest budget allocation for 2019 among the national agencies.” Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said. “This is in line with the government’s 0+10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda to make the country’s safety and security an essential pillar in our sustained economic growth.”

For 2019, the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and the Philippine Navy have been allocated Php89.0 billion, PhP24.6 billion, and PhP27.8 billion, respectively. The budget will go to their programs on defense operations to attain the desired level of mission capability of their respective unit—all in an effort to reinforce the country’s border security and patrol measures to protect the Philippines’ borders from illegal incursions, resource exploitation, maritime disputes, smuggling of firearms and contrabands, human trafficking, and other transnational crimes.

Included in the DND’s 2019 proposed budget is the AFP Modernization Program, which amounts to PhP25 billion. This will be used to continue enhancing the capabilities of all branches of the AFP, as stipulated under Republic Act No. 10349 s. 2012, otherwise known as the “AFP Modernization Act.”

This includes a grant of salary increase to military personnel who serve and protect the citizenry. (BITS)

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