PH has lots of capabilities to make guns, etc.
This is to correct a very important issue that Ramon Tulfo raised in his column “We have better gunmakers; time to be self-reliant” (Metro, 11/5/16), to be fair to those concerned.
Elisco closed not because of mismanagement but because its contract with the Philippine government expired after producing 200,000 rifles. The name of the company is Elitool, not Elisco.
For everyone’s information, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had the Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program in 1971, under which M16 rifles, jeeps, 60- and 81-mm mortar ammunition, 60-mm mortars (gun), hand grenades, M16 ammunition, tactical radios, M16 magazines, gun barrels for M1s, carbines and pistols, patrol speedboats, practice bombs, 40-mm grenade launcher ammo, rifle grenades, mortar fuzes and bayonets were locally manufactured.
It had plans to make 3/4- and 2 1/2-ton vehicles.
We even exported 40-mm grenade launcher ammo and illuminating mortar ammo to Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The country lost all of these capabilities after the contracts were not renewed and after a change of political leadership. It was a good program because it saved foreign exchange, created jobs and made the AFP self-sufficient.
For almost 10 years the AFP was self-sufficient in all its basic needs to move, shoot and communicate.
We have a lot of capabilities in the country if only the AFP and the Department and National Defense have the initiative to research the capabilities of the local industry and use them.
COL. JOSE GUILLEM, PA (Ret.), formerly one of those who planned and implemented the Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program, [email protected]
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