Duterte to AFP: Lease out Camp Aguinaldo to raise funds
President Rodrigo Duterte said the military should lease out Camp Aguinaldo to raise funds for its soldiers.
The President said leasing out Camp Aguinaldo — the 178-hectare military camp in Quezon City where the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters was located — could raise billions of pesos.
“It’s big … If you fill Aguinaldo with buildings, that’s billions. It would be more than enough for the Armed Forces,” Mr. Duterte said in a recent speech to members of the military’s Special Operations Command.
“You can lease it. I don’t want you to sell it. That’s billions and you will not have a problem anymore of at least, the financial side of your being a career soldier,” he added.
A GSIS for AFP, PNP
Mr. Duterte said the AFP and the PNP could have “its own GSIS (Government Service Insurance System).”
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police would have an independent financial body,” he told the audience.
“That will manage your money and I think, with the yearly appropriation [in the national budget and] … the extra income that you get from the real estate business, you won’t be in need. The incremental increase in your salaries can be planned out,” he added.
Mr. Duterte said that the new financial body could also provide better life insurance, housing, health and emergency loans.
This was not the first time that he urged the military to rent out its military camps in Metro Manila.
In October, the President urged the AFP to lease out its remaining lands in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, to raise more funds for its modernization program.
Mr. Duterte said leasing out military land in Fort Bonifacio—the location of the Philippine Army headquarters, the Philippine Marines headquarters, and the Bonifacio Naval Station—would raise trillions of pesos for soldiers.
“This is not for sale like the others. No. No. Just lease, 50 years and you have the income,” the President said in a speech at Fort Bonifacio.
“So aside from the regular annual budgetary needs that you have, you have your own wish list [like] what’s the ideal helicopters, for example. You know that’s very important in insertions of troops right now in Mindanao,” he added.
“So these are the things that you have to improve on. And that is my deal. I said, ‘Nobody is taking your land, it’s yours. Go into a joint venture or lease it long term. The money that is generated would be yours,’” Mr. Duterte said.
The President made the statement at the installation of the Army’s new commanding general, Maj. Gen. Rolando Bautista, after the retirement of his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda.
Among those present were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año, and other high-ranking officials.
The President conceded that Fort Bonifacio might have a “sentimental” value for the military but he added that it must learn to “move on.”
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