Philippine submarine capability buildup is long term development: AFP

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Plans Major General Restituto Padilla said that the decision to acquire diesel-electric submarines is still being deliberated upon.

However, Major Gneral Padilla noted that the AFP Modernization Program is progressing well due to the attention and support provided by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“First off the AFP Modernization is progressing very well, we are very fortunate to have a Commander-in-Chief, who himself is the one strongly and hastily trying to advocate for strengthening the Armed Forces through an hastened AFP Modernization and hence the commitment of the President has been proven by his instructions to the Cabinet, their commitment has been solidified with the PHP25 billion pesos guaranteed inclusion, the GAA (General Appropriation Acts), of every year up to the end of his term to ensure that the major projects in the AFP modernization will push through,” he said.

“As to the submarine capability buildup this is very long term development, it is not something that we can get off the shelf, it is a capability that needs to be slowly, deliberately and in consultation with our allies, the United States included,” he explained.

Padilla also said that the AFP modernization, which is currently in second of three stages, is already completing all the requirements to meet internal security challenges and start meeting external security ones.

“So this why you may have heard recently that the keel-laying ceremony for our frigate that was ordered from South Korea has been announced and that in essence by 2020 if I’m not mistaken, the delivery of the first working frigate of the PN will be in the offing,” he said.