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Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) History

The Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program, initiated in 1974, took the development of a domestic defense industry as its objective. Defense officials contracted SRDP projects with the government arsenal and local manufacturers, encouraging the use of indigenous raw materials and production capacity. Projects included domestic production of small arms, radios, and assorted ammunition. One of the most significant SRDP operations was the manufacture of the M-16A1 rifle under license from Colt Industries, an American company. According to a 1988 statement by the Philippine armed forces chief of staff, the SRDP not only increased Philippine self-reliance, but also cut costs, provided jobs, and saved much-needed foreign-exchange funds.

In its early years after the enactment of Commonwealth Act Number 1 the National Defense Act -- the Armed Forces of the Philippines received a good number of Defense Equipment from the United States under the RP-US Defense Assistance Agreement of 1947. The acquisition of these equipment was funded out of a US aid grant called the Foreign Military Funding (FMF) -- the fund used to name what otherwise would have been payment for the use of Philippine land to house bases. Acquisition of military hardware was sourced solely from the U.S. government through a system called the Foreign Military Sales (FMS). With these funds and systems in place, U.S. Defense Industries monopolized the inventory of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In the early 70s, the escalation of the Muslim secessionist movement in Mindanao and the immediate need for military hardware came as a wake up call for the Philippine Government to provide its own Armed Forces with the necessary materiel to accomplish its mandate of upholding the sovereignty of the state and protecting the national territory.

In 1974, the Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) Program was conceptualized and implemented through the enactment of Presidential Decree 415, otherwise known as the SRDP law. The program envisioned the attainment of local production capability for war materiel while conserving foreign exchange and, in the process, spur industrial and economic growth. The underlying concept of the program was the development of a local defense industry that can support the materiel requirements of the AFP.

The underlying concept was to produce locally, when feasible, materiel for our defense forces through partnership between the military and civilian establishments, while importing those that cannot be locally produced with the ultimate objective of acquiring the technology for the production of these materiel. Paramount to this objective is the primordial role of the military and government agencies of providing technical and financial assistance to civilian defense manufacturers. To effectively implement the program, the Joint Staff for Materiel Development and its implementing arm, the Research and Development Center, were established. Project managers were also designated to manage the various projects. A memorandum of agreement between the Department of National Defense and the Department of Science and Technology provided the network for the support of the program, which also included the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Finance.

To pump-prime the Defense Industry, an annual appropriation of at least 100 Million Pesos was legislated. This provided the needed financial support to fund research and development projects, which were done in cooperation with industry. Tax holidays and other investment incentives were also afforded to those undertaking production of defense materiel. With the entire support infrastructure in place, there were bright prospects for the birth of several industries.

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Page last modified: 03-08-2012 19:21:33 ZULU