Hontiveros wants Senate probe into AFP's use of BCDA remittances | Inquirer News

Hontiveros wants Senate probe into AFP’s use of BCDA remittances

/ 10:39 AM September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros is calling for a Senate investigation into the operations of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the use of its earnings by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over the years.

In Senate Resolution No. 520, Hontiveros proposed a Senate-led “comprehensive audit” of the proceeds from BCDA’s operations following the AFP’s claims that it failed to remit at least P13.2 billion to the military.


“Ngayong patuloy ang banta ng terorismo at ang pang-gigipit ng China, kailangan natin siguraduhin na may sapat na pondo para sa modernisasyon ng ating sandatahang lakas,” the senator said in a statement on Thursday.

(Now that the threat of terrorism is present and considering the continued Chinese aggression, we need to ensure that there is enough funding for the military’s modernization.)


“We need to conduct a comprehensive audit of the proceeds from BCDA’s operations over the years, to determine whether the AFP has been receiving its rightful share of such proceeds to finance its modernization projects,” she added.

Citing the Bases Conversion and Development Act, Hontiveros said that the corporation is mandated to remit 35 percent of proceeds from the sale of former military reservations to help finance the different projects under the AFP’s modernization program.

But the BCDA, she noted, has denied that it had failed to remit the P13.2 billion to the AFP, saying the amount is with the Bureau of Treasury and awaiting appropriation.

Still, the lawmaker said these “conflicting claims” should be investigated and reconciled.

“Nasaan na ba talaga ang P13.2 billion na hinihingi ng AFP?” she asked.

(Where is the P13.2 billion that the AFP is asking?)

Further, Hontiveros said state auditors have previously flagged how the AFP has not been able to receive its share from earnings generated by the BCDA.


She said a Commission on Audit (COA) report in 2017 discovered that the AFP had no share in the proceeds derived from BCDA operations in military camps outside Metro Manila, including that of the Clark Special Economic Zone.

Hontiveros also cited another COA report which she noted also found that the AFP “was left out and denied its share of earnings when the BCDA donated property to the City of Taguig in 2008.”

“Despite the BCDA’s claims of record remittances, the fact remains that there is still a whopping P300 billion worth of unfunded projects in the AFP Modernization Program which are yet to receive a single centavo from the BCDA. Hindi katanggap-tanggap ito,” she said.

Hontiveros warned that any shortage of funding for the military’s modernization program “seriously threatens our ability to protect Filipinos from various threats, including terrorist attacks and aggression by foreign countries in our territorial waters.”

“Ang bawat piso na hindi naibibigay sa modernisasyon ng AFP ay naglalagay sa buong bansa sa alanganin,” the senator said.

(Each peso that is not given to the AFP for their modernization program puts the country at risk.)


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TAGS: AFP, AFP modernization program, BCDA, Nation, News, Remittances, Senator Risa Hontiveros
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