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Press Release - Transcript of interpellation Senator Risa Hontiveros during the DND budget interpellation

Senator Risa Hontiveros (SRH): Maayong hapon, good Sponsor. And to the DND family, magandang hapon po.

Good Sponsor, tungkol muna sa "Preparing for Current & Future Defense Scenarios." The current conflict in Eastern Europe - while a tragedy for the peoples involved - provides many valuable insights into how a smaller country can stand up to a larger neighbor.

One key insight is air defense. An adversary must not be allowed to achieve air superiority. In Eastern Europe, road-mobile long-range Surface-to-Air Missile systems have helped prevent a quick Russian victory, and - air denial - not the traditional concept of air superiority, has been described as an important factor in Ukrainian successes.

Ito po bang budget na dinedebate natin sinusuportahan yung enhancement nung Air Defense Capability ng ating bansa?

Sen. Bato dela Rosa (SBR): Yes, the present budget is supporting it in two ways. Number one is aerial domain awareness, and surface to air missile systems.

SRH: So una yung aerial domain awareness na parang yung maritime domaine awareness na sinusulong ng Coast Guard at Philippine Navy, tapos yung surface-to-air missile systems.

At sa yugtong ito, sa taong 2024 na pinaguusapan natin ang budget, sapat na itong dalawang paraan o dalawang component para iusad ang ating bansa papunta sa air defense capability?

SBR: Your Honor, yun po ang magiging backbone ng ating air defense and by next year, we will witness the arrival of ground-based air defense systems, and we're going to have additional radars that would be integrated into the system.

SRH: Tapos good sponsor, kapag dumating na yang ground-based air defense tapos mga dagdag na radars next year, basically, nakalatag na po yung pundasyon ng ating air defense capability, yung skeleton nito?

SBR: Hindi pa, your Honor.

SRH: So mga ilang taon pa bago at least yung pundasyon o skeleten ng air defense capability ay mailatag natin o matatag natin?

SBR: Around five years, your Honor.

SRH: So pasok doon sa buong timeline ng AFP modernization program mula Horizons 1 hanggang 3.

SBR: Yes, your Honor.

SRH: To quote Defense News: "Ukraine's employment of vertical depth, layering the effects of air defenses,