BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Bataan’s second congressional district representative Jose Enrique S. Garcia, lll is eyeing the conversion of the 370 hectare government arsenal industrial estate in the upland section of Barangay Lamao, Limay town, into Bataan Defense Economic Zone to hasten the country’s self-reliance posture and to encourage investments in other defense related industries.
Garcia, principal author of a House Bill that seeks for the creation of a Special Defense Economic Zone, said that this would become accessible for inclusive business prospects and progress in firearm module and technical competency of the government arsenal that are vital to support the objective of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law-enforcement agencies.
The neophyte Bataan solon has positively guaranteed that the operation in the Bataan peninsula of the Special Defense Economic Zone would accelerate the inflow of top-notch material on advanced weaponry system as well as the acquisition of sophisticated technology in armament production features.
He recognized the economic impact of the Defense Economic Zone project which is highly regarded as one of its kind in Asia in terms of promoting indigenous capability in the manufacture of defense armaments.
Several foreign and local entrepreneurs have signified their interest to participate in pursuing the strategic magnitude of self-sustaining mechanism against internal and external threats.
According to retired Major General Jonathan Martir, the government arsenal produces only small arms ammunition and its present state’s capability is a reflection of how long the Agency has been neglected.
He asserted relying too much on our allies for our defense needs is certainly not a sound decision as it could indeed bring false hope if not totally disaster because it could lead us to becoming a totally defenseless nation.
Under Republic Act 7898, the AFP Modernization Act provides for the modernization of the Government Arsenal for the development of production capabilities to enhance self-sufficiency in defense requirements.
While Section 12 of this Law mandates that the Government Arsenal shall be utilized in the production of basic weapons, ammunition and other munitions for the use of AFP and PNP and for the sale and export of products in excess of their requirements.
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