MANILA, Philippines—The Government Arsenal is the first agency to benefit from the recently signed defense cooperation between the Philippines and Canada.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Philippine government has placed an order with Canada for machines for the Government Arsenal.
The equipment would be for the improvement of “our capability to produce ammunition such as the casing, everything about bullets and ammunition manufacture,” Gazmin told reporters on Monday, following anniversary ceremony of the Department of National Defense (DND).
The Government Arsenal in Limay, Bataan, manufactures the ammunitions needed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
An agency under the Defense Department, the Government Arsenal was created under Republic Act. No. 1884 and signed into law in 1957.
According to the Government Arsenal website, it was 14 years later when the first small arms ammunition (SAA) cartridge “rolled out of the GA’s production assembly line.”
“Three years later, the integrated SAA manufacture began, with all the components—case, primer, propellant powder, and bullet assembled into a complete cartridge—(were) manufactured in the arsenal,” the website said.
Republic Act 7898 or 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,” the website noted.
Gazmin also said that the Defense Department has been eyeing the purchase of “small boats for rough waters.”
“We are receiving offers already. So we are looking at these water assets,” he said.
The recent state visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Philippines saw the signing of the deal that would help Manila purchase military equipment to help defend its territory.
According to a Canadian government statement, under the deal, Philippine purchases of equipment and expertise from Canada’s C$12.6 billion (US$12.6 billion) defense industry are guaranteed by the Ottawa government.
Gazmin said there have been no contracts made yet for big-ticket items.
“There are all in the process… (which is) going towards the final stages. But there is no contract signing yet,” Gazmin said.