From the Philippine Star (Jul 26): Army reviews P350-M combat boots deal
The Army has ordered a review of its contract to purchase combat boots after the boots were found to be unsuitable for combat operations.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri ordered the review of the P350-million contract following complaints of the elite Scout Ranger troops of the footwear’s flawed design.
Some 5,000 pairs have been delivered.
Iriberri ordered a stop to further delivery of Kubar combat boots and called for a review of the contract with supplier FilBoots.
Under the contract, FilBoots will supply the Army with 79,066 pairs of combat boots at P4,500 per pair.
The firm initially delivered some 5,000 pairs shortly after Iriberri assumed command of the Army, at a cost of more than P22 million out of the P350-million contract.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said field tests are still being conducted to further determine what should be done to improve the gear after the Army Scout Rangers complained of its flawed design.
Detoyato admitted to the possibility of scrapping the multimillion-peso contract with FilBoots but stressed the issue will be dependent on the official outcome of the field tests.
“We are still collating the findings of the tests and the outcome will determine whether we should recommend changes or rebid the contract,” Detoyato said.
The boots, some officials said, are copies of the gear used by US servicemen in the Middle East, according to sources.
“It’s only good for garrison duties on dry areas like deserts but not in muddy places of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, unlike those being used by the ground troops at present,” Detoyato said.
Nakagawa was joined by Rasid Ladiasan, Chief Secretariat of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), Toks Ebrahim, MILF CCCH Consultant and Administrative Chief of BIAF – MILF, Nomaire Mustapha, BTC – JICA Project Coordinator, and Sukarno Akmad, Chairman of the Kapagawida Development Services Association, Inc (KDSAI).
This visit was the first since the start of the construction last June 3, 2014. Visitation and ground monitoring of Official Development Assistance of Japan through the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) is one of the functions of the Japanese Contingent with the IMT.
Nakagawa hailed the unabated construction of the Darapanan YCC despite the observance of Fasting in Ramadhan by the skilled workers and project engineer, even as he said “this makes the assurance for the completion of the project as scheduled at the end of this year.”
This Darapanan Youth and Children Center, which Nakagawa cited as one of the most important projects of Japan, is part of the eight projects under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) awarded by His Excellency Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe in an official ceremony in Manila last March 20, 2014.
The construction of the Center amounts to US$ 121,905 (approximately 5.4 million pesos), driven by the goal of developing the skills and knowledge of the youth with the progression of the GPH – MILF Peace Process capped by the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
Various training equipment for technical / vocational skills development will also be provide the Center that envision to train more than 150 youth, including MILF youth / children and combatants, annually on technical / vocational know-how.
“The training will significantly help the youth in harnessing technical skills and become more productive and this will be very helpful for the Normalization Process of the GPH – MILF CAB,” Nakagawa pointed out.
Training Compendium is now being developed by KDSAI, the project proponent, with the assistance of the Association of Bangsamoro Advocates Inc (ABAI) that focuses on skills development cum livelihood viability, agri-fisheries among others in collaboration with TESDA – ARMM and community extension services of academic and government institutions.
Nakagawa, for his part, committed to help in seeking Japan assistance for the training courses that will offered by the Center starting early next year.