VARIOUS quarters believe that it’s certainly about time that we produce our own arms.
Of course, we share the view of Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri that while we value our defense cooperation with our foreign allies, “we cannot rely on them entirely.”
“Amidst growing national concern over our sovereignty, it is very timely that we now consider the merits of…building a local defense industry that would supply the needs of our armed forces,” said Zubiri.
Besides, there’s that urgent need for the Southeast Asian nation to go into the local production of arms to avoid importation, according to Zubiri.
Zubiri made the statement during a public hearing conducted by the powerful Senate committee on national defense on the Philippine Defense Industry Development Act.
The act, he said, is a key measure in support of the ongoing efforts to build a credible and concrete defense program.
The Philippines is among the top importers of arms in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Myanmar and Singapore topped the list with US$394 million and US$361 milion, respectively.
Nobody will argue with Zubiri, a Mindanaoan, when he said that the country has the resources, the manpower and the skills to be able to produce its own arms.
Not only that. “And I’m quite hopeful that we also now have the political will to push this (local production of arms) through,” the highly-articulate Zubiri stressed.
Like Senator Zubiri, we cannot overemphasize the importance of producing our own arms and ammunition considering the many challenges now confronting the country.