MANILA — A lot of countries have expressed willingness to sell arms and other equipment to the modernizing Armed Forces of the Philippines, a ranking defense official said Wednesday

“Actually, many countries are offering to provide us with what we need to modernize our AFP. But we have to follow a process,” Defense undersecretary for finance, munition and materiel Fernando Manalo said in a message to the PNA.

Manalo did not name such nations but said these need to follow some procedures.

When asked on this, Manalo replied:”They have to follow (Republic Act) 9184.”

This is also known as “An Act Providing For The Modernization, Standardization And Regulation Of The Procurement Activities Of The Government And For Other Purposes.”

This is in line with the government’s transparency and accountability efforts.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier gave President Benigno S. Aquino III very high marks for jump-starting the military modernization program.

“President Benigno Aquino’s administration provided unprecedented levels of funds to support the AFP’s modernization with a sufficient defense budget made available through good governance policies,” he said.

Gazmin was referring to the acquisition of many new assets for the AFP which include the South Korean-made FA-50PHs, AgustaWestland attack AW-109E helicopters, Bell 205 combat utility helicopters, Airbus Military C-295 transport aircraft, new M-4 rifles and refurbished armored personnel carriers.

Having these assets on hand will greatly enhance the capability of the AFP to defend and protect the country’s vast territories. PNA /