Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Building-up the AFP's Equipment Needs for Disaster Response and Military Operations

It took a massive storm and devastation in the Visayas region to expose the government's inability to respond and provide government services and delivering massive volumes of personnel, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) goods, light and heavy equipment and temporary facilities to a wide coverage area due to several reasons. One of them is the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) lack of these necessary tools and equipment, which is an issue that has not been given much attention for several decades now.

The scale of devastation brought by Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) was unprecedented in Philippine history, and is nowhere near the dozens of storms the country experiences in a year. Normally the Philippine government has contingencies and preparations for disasters, and this includes bringing in the capabilities of the AFP with its men, materiel, experience and capability in rapid deployment and handling rescue and relief operations. But as the sheer coverage of the disaster was known, so is the inability of the AFP to reach out on these areas all at the same time.


The typhoon showed how military forces can be used in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Shown above are USMC MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft bringing in relief supplies from Cebu to Tacloban then returning to Cebu with evacuees.
Photo taken from Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.

It exposed the AFP's capabilities, or the lack of it, to the general public, and brought it closer to the attention of our citizens and lawmakers alike. People became aware on the military's lack of assets to transport large amounts of aid to a large area of responsibility like almost the entire Visayas region.


What does the AFP have?
Currently the Philippine Air Force (PAF) only has 3 C-130B/H Hercules heavy tactical transport planes, 3 units of the smaller Fokker F-27 Friendship tactical transports and N-22B Nomad light utility aircraft, and a few dozen UH-1H Huey and W-3A Sokol utility helicopters in its inventory, and not all of these assets can be used for a single air operation due to requests for air assets for other purposes. The Philippine Navy has the same dilemma, with only a handful of naval transports in the form of the 2 Bacolod City-class logistics support vessels (LSVs), a few World War 2-era landing ship tanks (LSTs), and a couple of large landing craft utilities (LCUs), and a few BN-2 Islander and BO-105 utility aircraft at its disposal. In this type of situation, these assets are not enough.

PAF's lack of C-130s was exposed during the relief operations after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Visayas, The 3 units were working hard for 2 weeks now, and was lucky to be reinforced by more C-130s and C-17s from several foreign air forces.
Photo taken from Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.

Not only is the military lacking in air and naval transport capabilities, it also lack the ground assets and support facilities that are both needed for normal military operations as well as humanitarian and disaster relief missions. The Philippine Army and Marine Corps, like the rest of the Armed Forces, does not have enough trucks and utility vehicles, engineering and construction equipment, and amphibious vehicles It also does not have or only have minimal temporary facilities like power generation, water treatment equipment and tanking, mobile hospitals, temporary airfield facilities, and communications equipment. It is surprising that there are still calls by many people to bring in relief aid to communities accessible by land transport until more than a week after the storm hit, but was not aided due to lack of these assets.


The AFP recently received several ex-US Army surplus trucks, like those above still in desert paint scheme after being used in Middle East campaigns. The AFP can continue getting more of these, or even new trucks, classified as civil defense equipment that can also be used for military operations.
Photo taken from IPMS Philippines website.

Thankfully, all these shortages were filled-in by the international community's contributions to the relief effort, as seen on the capabilities they brought in to assist the AFP and the Filipino people as a whole (a special MaxDefense blog article was made specifically to showcase the international help provided, see HERE). But this international aid is a temporary solution and will only be available until the Philippine government musters enough capability to stand alone to provide its people the necessities and return to normalcy. The capability brought upon by the international community can be a template for the Philippine government, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), other related government agencies, and by the AFP as it build up its own capability for future disasters. The Philippines cannot always just rely on foreign aid every time a similar unfortunate event happens; it must be prepared to face similar threats in the future, and it must also be prepared to answer the call to aid of other countries in need just as they answered our call for help.


Lawmaker's Questionable Solutions?
There are already earlier calls by a certain congressman who used to be the AFP's Chief of Staff to purchase more helicopters and transport planes in expense of purchasing fighter jets and territorial defense assets like the KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle, and recent calls by another neophyte senator calling for the same route of purchasing more transports for the AFP by cancelling the FA-50 and AW109 acquisitions.

MaxDefense believes that both lawmaker's intentions of increasing the capability of the AFP to respond to civil defense duties is correct and commendable, but the plan to cancel the procurement of fighter jets and other territorial defense assets to divert the funds is absolutely wrong and irresponsible. These lawmakers did not take into consideration the importance of having a minimum deterrent that will give the Philippine government some semblance of capability to enforce its territorial and foreign affairs policies. The fighter jets are not just for shooting down enemy aircraft, but are also meant for air policing duties and enforce our territorial jurisdiction from foreign aircraft. It's not about the numbers, but the willingness of the Philippines to be responsible of its territorial integrity that matters.


Purchasing the FA-50 should be left untouched by those pushing for more dual-use military equipment that can be used in military and disaster relief operations. Both are equally important and must be funded by the national government altogether.
Photo taken from koreaaero.com.

The Compromise:

The best compromise to avoid undermining every AFP capability from another is to increase funding of the armed forces, as well as strengthening the mandate and capability of the NDRRMC (which is also under the Department of National Defense). This can be done through separation of the systems being procured by the AFP: defensive weapons systems like fighter aircraft and frigates can be financed through the AFP Modernization Program, and dual-use equipment like transport planes, trucks and utility helicopters can be classified as HADR equipment and financed by a separate funding scheme, reinforced by the AFP Modernization Program budget. It is expected that public opinion will be calling for the improvement of disaster relief capability of the government, and although lawmakers are not very keen on military capability improvement but will have no choice but to definitely support improvements in the military's ability to respond to HADR operations.


Recommended HADR Purchases for the AFP: The following are MaxDefense's recommendations on what the government and AFP must improve to cope up with similar disasters in the future. Instead of relying on the AFP Modernization Program budget, the DND and AFP must push for another funding scheme that will solely focus of acquiring capabilities that can be used for both military and civil defense/disaster response purposes. Due to the special nature of disaster response, the DND and AFP can make use of this loophole to request for further funding using alternative sources to improve disaster response capability while also improving the military's overall transport and mobility capability. This can be divided into several sub-programs:

Philippine Air Force:
  • The PAF can request for expanding the aerial transport capability improvement, which includes increasing the budget for its current procurement on the following projects: Combat Utility Helicopters (CUH), Light & Medium Fixed Wing Transport Aircraft, Search and Rescue Seaplane, and used UH-1H Helicopters. The PAF currently has a standing requirement for at least 100 CUH available at any time, and will require more or less 130 units of CUH in their inventory. There are plans to increase the number of air assets in the next round of AFP Modernization Program budgeting for 2017 and beyond, these programs can be accelerated by increased funding. The PAF can also make use of procuring more interim UH-1H helicopters from US military stocks which can be made available faster than new helicopters. The PAF could opt to go for more than 21 units.
  • The PAF could also include the request for the following: Procurement of additional new or used (or both) C-130 Hercules transport planes and procurement of Medium Lift Utility Helicopters which can be used to enhance the transport capability of the PAF; Emergency Airport Facilities (mobile air traffic controllers and radar systems, temporary lighting and signalling equipment, and mobile air monitoring radar systems) which can be deployed to immediately re-activate damaged or disabled airports and air bases; Cargo handling ground equipment like rough terrain and heavy forklifts; and even Firefighting Buckets and slinging equipment for helicopters. 
Additional C-130 aircraft, which are used not only for military transport but also for bringing in supplies and relief goods, and evacuation of victims and even trapped OFWs abroad. The operations after the typhoon are testaments to the importance of C-130s and other transport aircraft even in peacetime operations.
Photo taken from Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.
  • Modernization of current assets can also be included, which may include installation of rescue winches on the W-3A Sokol helicopters (which are already transferred to the 505th SAR Group) and remaining S-76 helicopters; upgrading of several CUH to be able to carry firefighting water buckets;
One of the PAF's W-3A Sokol helicopter delivering food aid to affected citizens. The PAF require at least 100 combat utility helicopters operational at any point in time. The current numbers are far from that requirement.
Photo taken from Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.
 

Philippine Navy:
  • The PN can opt to request for a separate funding to accelerate the purchase of more landing platform docks (LPD) or strategic sealift vessels (SSV) in addition to the 2 units already on the pipeline. Originally the PN plans to have at least 4 SSVs in its future inventory and accelerating this program can hasten the availability of these ships as early as possible. It can also do the same for the LCU acquisition project, which also requires more that a dozen more in the next Modernization Program phases.
  • To support the SSV/LPDs, the PN must also request for medium lift helicopters to be procured at the same time as the ships they are intended to be used with. 
Additional assets that can bring in supplies and disaster relief aid like amphibious vessels (photo shows PN's LSV) can be funded by a separate program that focuses on disaster preparedness.
Photo taken from US Navy.


Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps:
  • The need for more mobility assets like cargo and utility trucks to bring in troops, people, goods and for other purposes can be requested through this funding. These can either be used assets from the US military, or new trucks similar to the ones bought from Korea recently;
  • Amphibian transport vehicles, similar to the GKN Aquatrack that  the PMC and NDRRMC currently operates. These vehicles can be used during floods and has a large capacity for carrying people or goods; 
The GKN Aquatrack being used by the PMC is an example of equipment that can be used for HDMR operations, as shown above. The PMC is operating 2 units of behalf of the NDRRMC.
  • Rescue equipment like search robots, personal protection equipment for rescuers, additional K9 units, first aid kits, heat signature scanners, and other related equipment that are also not available or not enough numbers within the Philippine ground forces;
Search and Rescue robots similar to the one above, can be used to look for victims underneath rubble and debris, and can reach areas that are inaccessible to humans. They can also be fitted with camera to access dangerous places.
Photo taken from Robocup 2009 website.
  • Requirements for field hospitals, power generators, water filtration systems, field kitchens, satellite and high frequency communications, tents and field shelters, portable water and oil storage facilities, first aid kits, meals ready to eat (MRE), and water supplies.These items are actually needed by our ground forces during long deployments outside major camps, and are also not even available on minor army and marine camps. It would be best to acquire such capability and to allocate enough for HADR operations;
The lack of field hospitals in operation areas are always brought out whenever there are major military operations involving the AFP, resulting to unnecessary deaths. It can be improved if these are provided to the AFP via funding for civil defense and dual-use equipment as they can also be used for peacetime operations like disaster relief.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.
  • Engineering and construction equipment like payloaders, backhoe, loaders, dump trucks, and also mechanical handtools like chainsaws. These can be used in clearing and rebuilding, and even during normal civic-military operations which the Philippine military already specializes even in non-crisis times. It would be best to expand and improve in this matter;
  • Combat engineering equipment like pontoon bridges can also be classified, and also materials for erecting temporary bridges to replace destroyed ones.
Water filtration equipment similar to those used by the Canadian Forces in Iloilo, are actually needed by military ground units even for military operations outside major camps.
Photo taken from Combatcamera / Canadian Forces website.
Engineering equipment like backhoes and loaders are also necessary for disaster relief and reconstruction operations, and are also needed by the army's engineering and construction battalions for their usual missions.
Photo taken from Combatcamera / Canadian Forces website.


Government Response:
Although its too late for the government to react for this specific calamity, it is not too late for the government to prepare for the future. There is already a call from Senator Ralph Recto to include the funding of reactivation of at least 3 mothballed C-130s of the PAF with the 2014 National Budget, and even considering the purchase of new C-130 aircraft using multi-year funding schemes. He also supported the purchase of more naval vessels including strategic sealift vessels and logistics support vessels. 

The DND has also recently announced the purchase of 2 more used C-130 aircraft from an "unspecified source" with a budget of Php 1.6 billion, and has plans to start a acquisition program for a new Combat Utility Helicopter to replace the W-3A Sokols. And there is mounting support from the public as well as local government units for the national government to increase funding for the purchase of more military equipment that can be used for HADR operations. There are even calls by some lawmakers to create a separate Cabinet Office for Emergency Response.


These C-130s in Mactan, Cebu, previously discussed in another MaxDefense blog, can be the proposed candidates for refurbishing as brought out by Senator Ralph Recto.
Photo taken from Mr. Jake Nelson @ Pinoy Daily Journal.

But these plans are not enough. It must be pursued immediately without being caught up with the usual red tape and politics affecting military and civilian expenditures, as these are emergency items that are needed as soon as possible without waiting for a new crisis to arrive. The Philippine government has the capacity to fund for these requirements if it wants to, and will only need political will of the national government and cooperation from the different sectors of government. Money can't be a reason anymore for the government, as disasters won't wait for a chance for the Philippines to be wealthy enough before it strikes again. Not only will it improve the AFP's capability to respond to HADR, it will also improve the AFP's capability to respond to the internal security and territorial defense posture of the country. 


Opportunity to Return the Favor:
It must also be taken into consideration that the Philippines now owes the world for the aid and assistance they gave to the country in this time of need, even if they do not ask anything in return. The best way for the Philippines to return the favor is for it to be better prepared in the future to minimize the need for another massive foreign assistance. At the same time, the country must be prepared to assist other nations that will encounter similar crisis in the future. 


The PAF's C-130s working hand-in-hand with C-130s of other nations. It would be best if the PAF could return the favor in the future by participating in delivering aid and support to other countries should the need arise.
Photo taken from Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.

Having a well prepared and well equipped military and disaster response teams that has the ability to be deployed in times of calamity anywhere in the world would bolster the Philippines' relations with the international community, improve its foreign policy standing, and can be a source of pride to the Filipino people. Just look at Indonesia: In 1963 the Philippines provided them with aid and medical assistance delivered by several C-47 transports of the PAF when Mount Gunung Agung erupted. Now they have returned the favor by sending several tons of relief aid brought in by several TNI-AU (Indonesian Air Force) C-130s, a shipload of Red Cross aid, equipment and personnel, and an LPD from the TNI (Indonesian National Armed Forces) is on the way to bring in more aid and more medical teams with their respective equipment (further discussed HERE) This is a source of pride for Indonesians to be able to help a friend in need even if they are also facing disasters in their own country and is also coping with financial issues. Can the Philippines do the same in the future? Yes, it can.


Indonesia is not a wealthy country as compared to its Western counterparts, and is almost in the same political, economical and military dilemma as the Philippines. But it has the willingness to help a friend in need, whatever it's situation it is. We are indebted to the international community, and must be ready to stand up to assist others in need in the future as well.
Photo taken from Liputan6.com website.


66 comments:

  1. Yes indeed, we can!!! I strongly support the creation of a Department of National Preparedness and Homeland Security (just for suggestion), in place of NDRRMC, with its own budget and capabilities. For their own funding, DNPHS Modernization Program.

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  2. Sana mabasa ito ng mga naka-upo sa pwesto...

    Nakakaawa ang mga kababayan natin...

    Frans

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  3. sir Max, just asking, you didnt include heavy-lift helicopters in your list. you dont think they are necessary?

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    1. I knew it somebody will notice. Actually it would be beat to climb up the ladder first. Medium-lift helicopters like the EC725 Caracal or AW101 Merlin would be better. Besides, the SSVs ordered by the PN are only designed to take in medium sized helicopters.

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  4. What happened to the 2 EC-145 that PCG ordered last February 2012?? We need that now in times like this! :(((

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  5. I agree Philippines owes it to the world to improve its HADR capability, because PH cannot just rely on foreign assistance every time a diaster strikes.

    the suggestion of refurbishing the 3 mothballed C-130's and purchasing an additional 2 more C-130's is a good start hopefully it will materialize. and maybe in the future if PH is really serious in futher improving its HADR it can purchase from Japan Kawasaki C-1 cargo plane or even the EADS A-400M which is long shot due to its cost.

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  6. This is a problem for our modernization. Too many distraction. Flip flops.
    Now look at now today China is sending aircraft carrier to the South China Sea.

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    1. China has the right to send its carrier to the WPS. As long as it stays inside international waters and does not do anything harmful to other countries like the Philippines.

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    2. it do drills like wtf>???? We cannot go near Scarborough because its inside our territory it has no right

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  7. thanks for the article sir max. btw, some lawmakers really dont care about TD. they really think its just for "posturing"? they need a smack on their heads for thinking that way. what kind of lawmakers are they???

    if dnd wants a medium helicopter, thay might want to consider KAI Surion

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    1. KAI already offered the Surion to the PAF and DND. No word yet on their opinion on it.

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    2. the Surion is best possible bet for the medium lift helo for paf. the others seems to be too expensive or politically improbable for phl situ

      DND should stress that 3 medium lift aircrafts are being bidded on right now. if those politicos really are sincere in their concerns, they should fast-track this instead of calling the cancellation of the FA50 orders in lieu of the airlifters. they could even request to increase this number to address the lack of airlift assets of paf. i understand indonesia promised slots if they win in the bidding

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    3. although the surion is a good candidate, id rather opt for a model that is very well tested and used in other countries other than the country of origin. Besides, at most we could expect a heli lift to be armed with only 50 cals, why not let the russians join the tender?

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    4. other country's med helo is expensive for phl's budget. as for the russian, its still a bit complicated to get hardware from them. lets just say risky politically and logistically

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    5. The Surion is actually at the border of light and medium, similar to the Balck Hawk. Interesting enough if the PAF's choice of the Black Hawk (S-70i) as the new Presidential helicopter. Connections?

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  8. these equipments dont come in a single snap, yes fix the ground structure(ndrrmc). but i have to start from the base.

    the west portion of the philippines is less suseptible to the first hit of typhoons i suggest the govt should put bases/logitics away from the east.

    palawan and northern luzon and western parts of mindanao are a good base as staging grounds for post disaster emergencies.

    IT WAS A CHANCE that it didnt hit CEBU, or maybe the tphoon didnt made a cross section.

    Portable helicopter platforms, we need lots of them! SSV's! then these lift helicopters. hopefully the u.s. builds a faster and bigger osprey.

    bring them by air just land them safely. thats how emergencies work.

    only russia has the guts to build this large helicopters.

    if i were to pre asses,predict,change the situation in the tacloban. most realistic as possible.

    bases on palawan, n luzon, mindanao are on standby for possible landfall of typhoon. ALL ASSETS STOCKED.

    made landfall at tacloban

    much better if we have positioned disaster resistant drones positioned in the landfall area. or if we could sent an assesment jet. then information is relayed.

    logistics is sent..via helicopters,jets. airdrop equipments kits foods aids, men. sea vessels follow.

    in reality we could only get a handfull of assets..the rest of the mitigation should be at the ground.

    disasters are like a reverse ground attack/invasion instead of enemy,total incapacitation. its the people(aid). rebuilding from ground up.

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  9. To our goverment who hold the stearing wheel of our nation past is important future us now.

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  10. dpat taasan ung pondo sa pgbili ng gamit kc tinitipid nila kc ung iba gsto puro sa edukasyon dapat pantay ang budget ng military at edukasyon. tama mgtayo n g isang ahensya na mgiging para for disaster ung nkahiwalay sa afp. amend ung constitution na nkaka hadlang sa pgbgay budget sa ating military. tama na pamomolitika kc wala na kayo ngaun pdaf na pgaawayan sa pwesto. dapat tanggalin na yun at sampolan ung mga senador na ngnakaw para makulong.

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  11. The Phil. govt should increase our defense budget to at least 1.5%-2% of our GNP, to be at par with the rest of the world. Currently, it is only 1.1% even with the significant increase this year.

    Also, the modernization fund of only P75B over 5 years is not enough. More should be allocated, like P250B at least for the next 5 years

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    Replies
    1. Actually the DND/AFP gets only less than 1% of GDP per year, even for 2013 and 2014.

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  12. How can we buy this items if we cant improve our education lol. We need education so our workforce would be competent and investor would come to our country. Then we can buy any military asset we want. Like the others said form previous post all we need is political will as of now. Sir Max any updates about national coast watch? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. This is already being taking care of. What else do you want?

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    2. Education is already taking the largest amount of budget every year as there is a provision in the constitution for it to be funded higher than anything else. And that's where the problem starts.

      Education funding and improvement is a never ending process, Our workforce is competent enough and is already a world standard that's why you can see them around the world. Its because of other reasons like corruption, red tape, ease of doing business and poor governance that keeps investors away, not because of poor education or incompetent workforce. You don't put everything in education and forego all others like defense, security and disaster relief.

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  13. Max,

    You mention about 2 units of SSV on the pipeline. Indonesia's PT PAL won contract to build these 2 units two months ago. Do you have any information if DND sign the MOA and contract.

    Nhes

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    Replies
    1. No contract yet, but reportedly PT PAL passed the post-bid qualifications.

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  14. The incident somehow explains the preference of AFP on quantity over quality.

    Time for mass production of BRP Tagbanua? Hopefully license-build SSVs.

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  15. I don't like this nancy binay, pa epal at walang alam naman.....siguro gsto nito magbantay sa spratly gamit ang tora2x...walang alam talga...I hate this....and most of all this congressman biazon, lalong walang alam sa defense..as in in teritorial defense...naka encounter na ba to ng mga npa o sbu sayyaf?alam ba nito ang pinagsasabi nya?di ko alam ang background ng congressman na to?san ba nag aral to?anyone knows?I comment this because I read their suggestion in phil star news the other day...lem1

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  16. this biazon has nothing....even he's ax ex military he had no contribution in the philippine military....he like to talk and talk and talk until he bacome old enough...binay and biazon must know how to allocate fund seperately from fa 50 and c130....I don't like this two mentioned person..laza101

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  17. just imagine in 2016 after PNOY , may Binay na maging presidente? wag mag pa loko sa salitang ,Tingnan nyo ang ginawa ko sa MAKATI , kaya ko din yang gawin sa buong Pilipimas.. push the anti dynasty bill, bago gawen business ng pamilyang to ang gobyerno ,

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    1. Makati was built by the Ayalas, not Binay. Even if Binay was not the mayor in Makati from the time Cory appointed him, it would still be the most progressive city in the Philippines.

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    2. yeah its right max, the ayalas not binay, pero ng last election yan ang ginamet na slogan ni binay ng tumakbong bise presidente ..thanks for the clarification

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  18. hi sir, I am wondering, if China was able to domestically produce its own military hardware, why not us? It may be an ardous process but it's worth it...

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    1. Because they already have the base technology to start with, and will require large number of assets due to the size of their armed forces. Unlike us wherein we may only require a small number of assets, which would make production costly than buying off the shelf from friendly countries. Quality can also become an issue since we lack expertise on such products.

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  19. lahat ata ng pinoy bad trip s dalawang ito (binay and biazon), ang baba ng IQ ng 2 ito nakakaasar, pag nagka gera c binay ibigay n lng natin s invaders para magbigay aliw para may silbi

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  20. they should also rush the 21 hueys ( this is already taking so long or budget will go back to the national treasury ) and the new CUH ( bell 412?)

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  21. Gov't should instruct every Governor or Mayor to each have a dedicated Mobile Hospital or Temporary Shelter(Tent) that can accommodate refugees which can be readily deploy w/ personnel in a matter of days. If ever calamities struck again(w/c is bound to happen every year), each Province/Municipalities can easily tap each Mobile Hospital/Temporary shelter to the stricken areas. Readily available Calamities Response Equipment from each Province/Municipalities is truly a great leap for us, rather than waiting for the National Gov't to react much more waiting for the Foreign country to act. I think we should have this Disaster Response Equipment that is readily available in every corner rather than to wait for the C-130 from Villamor Airbase.

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  22. this two senator, instead of calling our president attention for cancellation of the two project of our AFP modernization in procuring the FA-50 jet and the attack helicopter.why they not asking a new budget for the new objective baying c130.....for our relief operation and for the future needs........

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  23. sir max. it is possible that the procuring of FA-50 jets can be cancel even they are already sign both Philippine Gov.and south Korea Gov.for that deal.....thanks....

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    Replies
    1. No contract yet, so anything can still happen. Pray that the FA-50 deal would be left alone by those who are against it.

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    2. I would be so disappointed if Binay becomes president

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  24. aerial drones should also be a part of the list. they represent a more inexpensive way to provide widespread immediate assessment of disaster affected areas. They can also be sent immediately after a typhoon has left an area when weather conditions might still pose a threat to piloted aircraft. i saw a website of a civilian company which provides this service so the AFP can tap them while it still has to acquire this capability.

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  25. this certain law maker biazon is an idiot kind of rich personality with thinking of such pa epal.........your so proud tat your an ex senator, what are those things you contribute to your fellow military especially those fighting with the abu sayyaf?what?is their any?I hate tjis peron (biazon)everytime I see this on tv...pa epal....

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  26. this is the same mistake our leaders have done in the past by neglecting the AFP not one politician even FVR and sen Biazon both former military officials did not do anything to improve the AFP capabilities. It looks like our leaders and people also need modernization of their minds. cancelling the FA-50 and AW 109 choppers is a big mistake. a mistake they have always done. Had they modernized the AFP since the closure of US bases then we should had a credible AFP by now that can respond to the needs of its citizens and country in times of calamities and security threats. Cancelling FA-50s and AW 109s is another shortcuts these crooks are trying to do after they stole most of it. Maybe we need another people power to make things more right until we get it right.

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  27. http://apdforum.com/en_GB/article/rmiap/articles/online/features/2013/11/07/korea-philippines-jets
    sir max is it true in the report above page that we have already signed a contract for an initial of two fa50? lem1

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  28. November 25 ang 1st bidding ng frigate anu na balita ang dali nyo makalimot.nasobrahan kay takaga sa MSG MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE.

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    1. The bid opening was moved to December 4.

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  29. Sir max wag mong ikaiinis ha? Ok lang ba if you run for congressman or senator? Para sa pag papalakas ng AFP natin. We will support you 100% all the way.......!!!!!!!!!

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  30. Hi Max, how close to reality is the PN plan of attaining the desired force mix within 15 years? They seem to have a high OPV requirement, 18? I read your blogs and I did agree that OPV or big ships capable of policing the high seas of our EEZ are needed. You also mentioned that in peace time policing they fit the bill. However, with recent developments in the SCS and WPS, it might be appropriate to review the PN tactics. The deployment of combatants in the sea and the possible closure of the air space has pushed the timetable of a shooting war. The AFP might be more suited now to go for asymmetrical warfare instead of procuring conventional arms. The 3 submarine requirement in the DFM might have to be the priority, like our neighbours are doing and a missile system perhaps? May I ask your take on this? Manuel

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  31. Why our goverment wont spent too much in our arm forces when we need it the most? China spend $100 billion dollars philippines goverment spent $2 billion dollars? Very small amountfor our AFP.

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    1. 1.8 billion u.s dollars for 5 years program. not 2 billion u.s dollars every year. 1.8 billion us dollars is only a token for modernization. according one of the adviser of national sec. council. for better equip afp needs 3 billion dollars every year.

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    2. What he meant of $2 billio a year is the annual defense budget. Then there's the Php 15 billion a year from the AFP Modernization Program.

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  32. Why let the DND and AFP built natural barriers like mangroves and breakwaters in prone areas and built calamity resistant shelters in their bases. Also a Hospital ship is a nice option. More power to you MaxDef

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    1. The incoming SSVs can be configured as temporary hospital ships if needed. More are being considered by the DND subject to the government's approval of the requested additional budget.

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  33. Shipborne Prepositioned Stock. One partial possible solution to the country’s perennial HADR requirements are ships permanently loaded with food rations, medical supplies, tents, water purification equipment, earth moving/ construction equipment, etc. The country turns to it’s own advantage it’s many seas and waterways. The delivery of relief supplies will be quick and efficient as the ships can be strategically pre-positioned to respond considering the predicted trajectory of a typhoon or in the case of earthquakes or volcano eruptions the country can be divided into geographical zones with a pre-positioned ship able to get there in minimum sailing time. Pre-planning is key.
    I have always thought a dedicated National Emergency Response Agency (NERA) was needed by the country NOT a coordinating agency like what the country has now. Prepositioned ships loaded with emergency supplies would be one asset of such an agency. Additionally I envision such an agency equipped with its own dedicated aircraft, amphibious vehicles and low ground pressure vehicles like the BV206 to access boggy terrain. The agency will have dedicated trained staff augmented as needed by pre-organized volunteers from the various professional groups .
    Advantages to having NERA:
    1. Trained professionals manage how the government/country plans, trains, equips and responds to an emergency situation. Hindi barabarabay ang pag-responde – witness the one satellite phone fiasco in the recent news.
    2. This offloads disaster response from the AFP so they can concentrate on their job of protecting the country – warfighting should be their sole focus – no distractions with the many hostiles around the neighborhood.
    3. With the country able to efficiently and effectively respond to calamities and other emergencies it will be less reliant on foreign help. It can also offer this expertise to other countries in need.
    Cost? Can the RP afford such an agency? The better question is: Can the country afford NOT to have such an agency? One can also pose the question to the thousands of Filipino families who have suffered and lost a loved one to these serial calamities. I have no doubt what the answer will be.

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    1. Land-based pre-positioned stocks can also be done, this is actually a cheaper alternative. The US was actually proposing such facility if the revised PH-US expanded presence agreement is signed.

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    2. There is actually a similar facility in Dubai, which was the source of some of the initial aid coming from Europe. A similar facility in the Philippines can also be used for provision of aid in the region.

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  34. i remember sen enrile way back 3 years ago. sabi nya pwede daw muna unahin yung modernization ng ating afp bago raw ang education. kasi raw nasa binggit tau security threat ng bansa. second lang yung education natin. ajo pabor ako sa gusto nya.

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    1. Actually there is no need to exceed the annual education budget just to modernize the AFP. Why not just allocate a defense budget that is a few millions short of the education budget? Example: If Education gets $5 billion/year, why not give the Defense $4.95 billion/year?

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  35. i have nothing to say for now and it's only, i hate this nancy binay and a certain congressman biazon (old one)...... we don't need this king of law makers and it cannot help to protect or interest and protecting our country from foreign treat as well the economy... Lem1

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  36. as if that $3 billion will happen every year? i wish. but no way in our goverment will do that. never unless if another terrible happen to our country then its to late for them to react. that our goverment.

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  37. AFP should include COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS Effectiveness during disaster response operations. Let's acquire highly deployable VSAT Communication terminals and self sustained communications van in order to be responsive in the performance of our HADR mandate! - Jam94

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  38. Hydratek small amphibian vehicle Wins P66M Deal to Supply Small Amphibian Vehicle. Hydratek must deliver 10 units of brand new small amphibian vehicle for Philippines Marine Corp with payload at least 2,000 lbs (on land) and at least 1,400 lbs (on the water) and powered by diesel engine.

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