Sponsorship Speech for the AFP Modernization Bill (after Bicameral Conference Committee)

(After the bicameral) conference committee that met and fully discussed in a conference the joint explanation of the conference committee on the disagreeing provisions of SB 3164 and HB 6410, I hereby report to the body the following: 

1. The conferees agreed to use the House version as the working draft.

2. Section 1, which seeks to amend the components of the modernization program under Sec. 4, RA 7898, was adopted in full as Section 1 of the reconciled version.

3. Section 2, which amends the period of implementation under Section 6 of the same act, was adopted as Sec. 2 of the reconciled version.

4. Section 3, which amends submission of the modernization program under Section 7 of the act, was adopted as Section 3 of the reconciled version, with modification that the proviso contained under the Senate’s proposed amendment to Sec. 7 paragraph A subparagraph 3 of said act was adopted in lieu of the counterpart House version to it, provided that in the implementation of the AFP Modernization Program, the acquisition of equipment or upgrading to be undertaken shall be devoted toward the development of the AFP with shifting capability to meet internal and external threats.

5. Section 4, which amends appropriations for the AFP Modernization Program under Section 8 of the act, was adopted as Section 4 of the reconciled version, with the following amendments to the last paragraph of the proposed Sec. 8:
– The words ‘at least’ were inserted between the preposition of and the word 75, and the proviso contained in the last part was also deleted. Thus the last paragraph was adopted now reads as follows: The revised AFP Modernization Program shall be based on amount of at least P75 billion, for the first five years.

6. Section 5 regarding multiyear contracts and other contractual arrangements was adopted as Section 5 of the reconciled version.

7. Section 6, which amends Section 11 regarding the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund, was adopted as Section 6 of the reconciled version with amendments by deleting the proposed Section 11 Paragraph J regarding share from the Malampaya oil and gas exploration or other similar or related explorations for energy, and consequently making the proposed Section 11-K regarding interest income as Section 11-J.

8. Section 7, which seeks to amend Section 12 regarding modernization of the government arsenal, was adopted as Section 7 of the reconciled version with amendment by deleting the last sentence of the proposed Section 12, which declares the government arsenal as a defense industrial economic zone.

9. Section 8, regarding the AFP procurement system under Section 14 of the act, was adopted as Section 8 of the reconciled version with the deletion of the second and last paragraphs of the proposed section.

10. Sections 9 and 10 were adopted without amendments.

11. Section 11 of the House version was adopted as Section 11 of the reconciled version.

12. Sections 12, 13 and 14 were adopted without amendments.

13. The conferees adopted without amendment the title of the Senate version to read as follows: An act amending RA 7898 establishing the revised AFP Modernization Program and for other purposes.

We also agreed that in case of conflict between the amendments stated in this joint explanatory statement and that of the provisions of the consolidated bill in the accompanying conference committee report, the provisions of the latter shall prevail.

I move to adopt the bicameral conference committee report Mr. President.