Marcos OKs military’s P2-trillion wish list for weapons, equipment | Inquirer News

Marcos OKs military’s P2-trillion wish list for weapons, equipment

/ 05:20 AM January 29, 2024

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers a speech at Malacañan Palace grounds in Manila on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. (File photo by RYAN LEAGOGO /

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the military’s revised wish list for new weaponry and equipment to shore up the country’s defenses against threats, in the face of a rapidly evolving regional security landscape.

The updated acquisition plan called “Re-Horizon 3” will focus on “an array of capabilities which will range from our domain awareness, our connectivity, our intelligence capabilities or C4iSTAR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, targeting acquisition and reconnaissance) … to our area denial and deterrence capabilities on both the maritime and the aerial domains,” Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said at an event hosted by the Manila Overseas Press Club last week.


Defense sources said the revised procurement plan would have a timeline of 10 years and cost around P2 trillion.


It replaces Horizon 3 — the supposed final stage of the three-phase modernization program that would have started last year and run until 2028 — consisting of equipment mostly geared for external defense.

Backlog, funding issues

But the Armed Forces of the Philippines was forced to review its planned acquisition last year and create a new list after funding issues caused a backlog in the earlier stages of the program.

A list of equipment under the new plan was not immediately available.

The previous Horizon 3 list included multi-role fighters, radars, frigates, missile systems, and rescue helicopters.

The three-phase modernization program had started under the Aquino administration in the wake of China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea, part of the South China Sea which Beijing claims almost entirely.

Despite its modernization efforts, the Philippine military remains one of the weakest in the region, facing external and internal security challenges, from the maritime conflict with China to the communist insurgency.


The Re-Horizon 3 is anchored on a “comprehensive archipelagic defense concept,” through which the Philippines will be able “to project power into areas where we must, by constitutional fiat and duty, protect and preserve our resources,” Teodoro said.

“The Armed Forces will transition initially to enable itself to guarantee, as much as possible, Philippine nationals, Philippine corporations, and those authorized by the Philippine government, the unimpeded and peaceful exploration and exploitation of all natural resources within our exclusive economic zone and other areas where we have jurisdiction,” he said.

PH-occupied features

Earlier this month, the AFP chief, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., said the new concept would require “more ships, aircraft, and radar systems,” as well as the development of Philippine-occupied features in the West Philippine Sea.

The Department of National Defense (DND) has been allocated a P278-billion budget for 2024, with P40 billion intended for the AFP modernization program.

The Marcos administration has yet to sign any big-ticket military procurement project.

Teodoro said his department had sought additional funding from Congress for maintenance and operations “in order to use, to train and to have greater exposure and mobility in areas where we need to have significant presence, most specifically at this time in the West Philippine Sea where we cannot tolerate violations of our territorial integrity and sovereignty by anyone.”

Changes in procurement are also in the pipeline in line with the new acquisition plan.

“We have said that the [AFP and DND] will not be a vendor’s paradise. We will not consider ourselves a ‘vendee’ but a client. We will demand performance from all our proponents,” Teodoro said, vowing to be “intolerant of any delays.”

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“We will bring out our requirements and not shop for a product and let [proponents] tailor their products to our requirements which need a long-term relationship with a proponent, which we cannot do today because of a flawed law — the modernization law of the [AFP] and the procurement law,” he said.

TAGS: AFP Modernization Program, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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