The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Monday turned over modern facilities to the Army Support Command (ASCOM), bringing the Philippine Army (PA) unit a step closer towards relocating its headquarters to a new site in Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac this year.
BCDA Officer-in-Charge President and CEO Atty. Aristotle B. Batuhan, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino, Army Chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., and ASCOM Commander Maj. Gen. Glenn Cruz led the turnover ceremony for Phase 1A of the Php 1.59-billion project.
The event was held in time for the 30th anniversary of the BCDA on March 13.
“We at the BCDA are very honored to present to our soldiers these new and state-of-the-art facilities for the Army Support Command. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year, the BCDA is committed to continue delivering projects like this and maintaining its strong partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in order to move forward with the modernization of the military,” Batuhan said.
The three-phase development plan for ASCOM facilities involves the construction of 44 structures within a 29.8-hectare lot in Camp Aquino.
With an overall completion rate of 70 percent as of end-January, the BCDA was already able to turn over 15 of these facilities to the Army unit during the ceremony.
These include the Service Support Training Center headquarters, two classrooms, student mess hall, two student barracks, commander’s quarters, deputy commander’s quarters, chief of staff’s quarters, three security barracks, senior officers’ quarters, junior officers’ quarters, and sergeant major’s quarters.
Phases 1B, 2 and 3 of the project are expected to be completed by August this year.
“ASCOM’s transfer to its new home here in Camp Aquino and the replication here of its existing facilities from Fort Bonifacio signify a fusion of the new and the old. Certainly, this will empower the ASCOM to become a more reliable logistical hub that is capable of improving its logistics management system to make its services more proactive and timely. As a result, its efficiency and effectiveness in fulfilling the demands of all Army units will be greatly enhanced,” Lorenzana said.
Pursuant to its mandate under Republic Act 7227 to generate funds for the AFP Modernization Program, BCDA, together with its joint venture partner SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is gearing up for the development of the 33.13-hectare Bonifacio South Pointe Property in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
To pave the way for the implementation of this project, BCDA and the Department of National Defense/ Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND/AFP) signed a memorandum of agreement in 2017 for the relocation of ASCOM, as well as the Special Services Center (SSC) and the Division Administrative Command Center (DACC), all under the Philippine Army. These units currently occupy 11.5 hectares of the Bonifacio South Pointe property inside Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
The DND and AFP identified Camp Aquino as the relocation site for ASCOM given its strategic location.
“These new facilities of the Army Support Command will certainly enable us in the Philippine Army to accomplish our mission of defeating our nation’s adversaries, and maintain our operational tempo against the prevailing challenges of insurgency, terrorism and secessionism, as well as against the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country,” Brawner said.