Imee Pushes For Revival Of Self-Reliant Defense Program
Senator Imee Marcos consulted with the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga Sibugay over the weekend, in an effort to revive a neglected government program that enables the country’s self-reliance in national defense.
The senator’s initiative comes as the Philippine government prepares four new sites for U.S. military access in the country and an agreement for stronger defense cooperation with Japan.
Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said the Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program initiated in 1974 by her father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., must be revived to “scale down our dependence on foreign goodwill in the sticky web of geopolitics.”
“Thailand now customizes rifles that are slimmer and lighter for its soldiers, while Vietnam can now manufacture anti-surface warfare missiles. How far have we gone?” Marcos asked.
“In the 70’s to early 80’s, our SRDP was already producing M-16 rifles under license, steel helmets, hand grenades and other ammunition, handheld radios, Jiffy jeeps. It also created jobs and minimized foreign spending,” the senator recalled.
She explained that Filipino manufacturers used local materials besides the imported parts from which technological know-how was gained, with the National Science Development Board supporting research and development.
“There’s no question about Filipino capability, but we must revive the SRDP now,” Marcos emphasized.