MANILA-- While strictly not a military affair, the ongoing ASEAN integration is expected to provide massive dividends to ongoing efforts to modernize the Philippine Army and the rest of the Armed Forces, Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said Friday.
"The ASEAN integration is expected to provide bright economic opportunities for the Philippines. As experienced, as our economy grows, the modernization of the Army moves forward, too," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
The ASEAN is considered the sixth largest economic grouping in the planet and is expected to gain more economic prominence once the integration of its economies goes into high gear within the next few years.
Additional funds coming from a more vibrant Philippine economy is expected to expedite the modernization and reequipping of the various military services, Hao said.
He further said that aside from modernization, ASEAN integration is expected to beef up the Army's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) capabilities.
"In terms of HADR, the Philippine Army is already involved in a lot of exchanges of experience and collaboration among the ASEAN members, like with the Malaysian Army," Hao added.
"There will be more opportunities in HADR and the Philippine Army will most likely take the lead." (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency