Duterte: All BCDA earnings must go to AFP modernization

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President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) — President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he wants all the earnings of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to go to the military's modernization program.

During his speech at the Philippine Army's 58th change of command ceremony Thursday, Duterte repeated his promise to give ₱50 billion to the children of slain soldiers, but admitted the administration is hard put for money.

The President said Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez proposed to "give" the BCDA to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He then said retiring Commanding General Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda's next appointment is with the development board.

"Ang sabi ni Dominguez, give it to the Armed Forces, you can join any venture with the private, joint venture or ipa-lease na lang niyo na long-term and 'yung makuha ninyo na pera, malaki ito. And I'll give you a land some — You can choose. Tutal sundalo naman kayo eh," Duterte said.

[Translation: Sonny Dominguez said, give it to the Armed Forces. You can join any venture with the private, joint venture, or lease the land long-term and the sum of money you'll get is pretty hefty. I'll also give you land. You can choose. You're soldiers.]

"Maghanap na lang kayo. I'll give you this place. Lahat ito with a one sole condition. 'Yung lahat kikitain ninyo diretso sa inyo. At gawain ninyo ang gusto ninyong gawin to modernize. Pera 'yan. Malaking pera 'yan," he claimed.

[Translation: Look for it, and I'll give you this place. All of this with a sole condition. All of your earnings must go straight to you. And do everything you want to modernize. That's money, a large amount of money.]

Duterte said Miranda will be appointed to the BCDA because, "Itong Bases Conversion Authority board, walang military. Eh inyo 'to eh pati ang Clark."

[Translation: The Bases Conversion Authority Board, has no military man. But these are yours, even Clark.]

Miranda, who has been in service for 34 years, is the 46th Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP.

The BCDA is a government board under the Office of the President. It is mandated to transform former military bases into alternative economic zones.

Under Republic Act 7917, or an amendment of the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, only 35 percent of the BCDA's earnings should go to the AFP modernization programs.

Twenty-seven and a half percent should be alloted for infrastructure to ease accessibility of the Subic-Clark and other former bases, 12 percent for the National Shelter Program, among others.