Philippine senator pushes for defense manufacturing self-sufficiency with new bill

The Philippine Government Arsenal leads the SRDP program to improve the country's self sufficiency in defense manufacturing. Photo c/o Government Arsenal.

A senator from the Philippines raised a bill that would push for government support for self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing, improving and expanding the small defense industry of the country.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri made Senate Bill 2113, which is aimed at reviving the Philippines’ Self Reliance Defense Posture (SRDP) program which would develop the country’s defense industry and reduce the need to import basic weapon systems from foreign countries. The SRDP program was previously a project that started in 1974 during the leadership of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos but failed to take-off after his term.

Different sectors of the country have expressed their support for the revival of the SRDP program, including its Defense minister Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, as well as private entities that are in arms manufacturing or related industries.

Among the bill’s proposed provisions include the following:
- encouraging government financial institutions to support the project, and also allow providing of grants to foreign and local companies that will engage in the country’s defense industry.
- creation of the Office of the Undersecretary for Defense Technology Research and Industry Development under the Department of National Defense (DND)
- exemption from customs duties and national taxes related to importation of raw materials and criticial components needed for local defense manufacturing

Separately, the DND has also embarked on the creation of the Government Arsenal Defense Industrial Estate (GADIE) which would allow companies interested to participate in SRDP to set-up shop within the estate, which is located in Bataan province, north of Manila.

Several companies, including foreign manufacturers have previously expressed their interest in participating in the SRDP project, with some companies like Israel’s Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd. And South Korea's Samyang Comtech among those which already started the initial phase on investing in the Philippine defense industry.

[1] Manila Bulletin
[2] Government Arsenal-DND
[3] Rappler
[4] Stone of David Corporation
[5] Philippine News Agency

Philippine senator pushes for defense manufacturing self-sufficiency with new bill Philippine senator pushes for defense manufacturing self-sufficiency with new bill Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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