AFP working double-time to develop defense capabilities

MANILA The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is working double-time to acquire the capabilities needed to protect the country's territories.

This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during an interview Monday with ABS-CBN News Channel on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore from June 1 to 3.

"We don't have capabilities now, so we are making double-time, but it depends on the funds that we get from Congress if they allocate more funds for our modernization program (then we can expedite the development of these capabilities)," he said when asked about the AFP's readiness capabilities.

At the moment, Lorenzana said that AFP does not have the capabilities to defend the country.

"At present you know we don't have any capabilities to even just to demonstrate to others that we are capable (of defending our territories) because we are not capable, we don't have the capital ships, we don't have the weapons," the DND chief added.

Also, Lorenzana cited the case of the 1.2-kilometer Rancudo Airfield on Pagasa Island, the country's sole operational airstrip in the Kalayaan Island Group, which is short, unpaved and incapable of handling aircraft when it rains.

"Our sole airstrip in Pagasa is still vey short and it is (unpaved), so we're trying also (to pave) that so that we can bring in our aircraft anytime, because at present it can only (land) there if there was five days of sunshine, because (it is) soggy," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency