|Pagawaan ng Punglo at Sandata|
|Formed||June 22, 1957|
|Preceding Agency||Creation of Republic Act No. 1884|
|Headquarters||Camp General Antonio Luna, Limay, Bataan, Philippines|
|Agency executive||MGen Jonathan C. Martir (Ret.), Government Arsenal Director|
|Parent agency||Department of National Defense|
The Government Arsenal (GA) is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of National Defense, responsible for the production of basic weaponry and ammunition for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP), among others, and for the sale and export of products in excess of AFP/PNP requirements.
The Government Arsenal (GA) is located on a 370-hectare defense industrial estate in Lamao, Limay, Bataan, about 120 km from Manila by land, 70 km from Subic and 90 km from Clark. Just three km from the Port of Limay, the Arsenal is strategically situated near the Petron Bataan Refinery, the Bataan Combined Cycle Power Plant, the National Power Corporation Plant, the Petro-Chemical Complex, and the Special Economic Zone at Mariveles, Bataan. To sustain its operations, the GA presently maintains and operates 124 buildings and structures sprawled over 70 hectares of land.
A creation of Republic Act No. 1884 which was signed into law on June 22, 1957, the Arsenal is a line bureau under the Department of National Defense. However, it was only about a decade later, on March 7, 1967, that a presidential proclamation on its present site at Limay, Bataan was declared. Accordingly, on October 12, 1967, the ground breaking materialized at the spot where the statue of General Antonio Luna now stands. Site preparations were subsequently undertaken by the 514th and 564th Engineering Construction Battalions of the 51st Engineering Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Construction of essential buildings and facilities then followed along with training abroad of selected military and newly hired civilian personnel on the manufacture of small arms ammunition (SAA).
On August 15, 1971, or fourteen (14) years after the enactment of Republic Act 1884, the first SAA cartridge rolled out of the GA's production assembly line. Three years later, the integrated SAA manufacture began, with all the components - case, primer, propellant powder, and bullet assembled into a complete cartridge - manufactured in the arsenal.
As a strategic resource, the arsenal is envisioned to be a center for defense industries to meet domestic requirements and supply the world market. In line with this vision, the GA explored in the early 1980s, the possibility of exporting excess production, improving ammunition technology and expanding the capability for weapons production as called for in its charter. However, the impediments under the then existing laws prevented any real progress in this direction.
On February 23, 1995, Republic Act 7898, otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act, was enacted. Republic Act 7898 likewise provides for the modernization of the Government Arsenal for the development of production capabilities to enhance self-sufficiency in defense requirements. Specifically, Section 12 of this Act mandates that "the government arsenal shall be utilized in the production of basic weapons, ammunition and other munitions for the use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP), and for the sale and export of products in excess of AFP/PNP requirements." Furthermore, the GA is authorized to use such production facilities as it may own or be provided under the law or as it may arrange under joint venture, co-production or similar arrangements with local and foreign entities.
As part of the modernization effort, the arsenal, through the Department of National Defense, issued an invitation to bid for a Multi-Station Bullet Assembly Machine for 5.56mm M193/M855 in August 2009. This marks a significant expansion of existing production lines.
As of the most recent supplemental bulletin for the bid, bids for this acquisition were to have been opened on 4 December 2009.
Government Arsenal Modernization Act
In July 1, 2010, Congressman Albert Garcia sponsored the House Bill 0076, also known as the "Government Arsenal Modernization Act". Congressmen Mel Sarmiento, Francis Ortega, and Leopoldo Bataoil are listed as co-sponsors. The bill sought to implement the following four-phase, 6.3 billion peso, modernization program:
- Phase I - Enhancement of the Arsenal's Capacity in Production of Small Arms Ammunition
Projected budget: One Billion Three Hundred Forty Million Pesos (P1.340B)
The Arsenal shall acquire various equipment necessary to enhance ts capability and increase its annual capacity in the production of Small Arms (ammunition) to a level where t can fully support the Small Arms Ammunition requirements of the AFP, PNP, and other government law enforcement agencies in accordance with its modernization objectives. Phase I shall be aimed at increasing its annual Small Arms Ammunition production to meet the overall Small Arms Ammunition requirements of all defense and law enforcement agencies.
- Phase II - Development of the Arsenal's Capability in Weapons Manufacture
Projected budget: Two Billion Pesos (P2.0B) for a period of four years
The Arsenal shall acquire necessary equipment and technologies to develop its capabilities in the field of weapons manufacture to a level where it can truly perform its lawful mandate. The Arsenal shall likewise continuously conduct research and development activities in accordance with the spirit of Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) Program of the government in order to gain insights and finally develop technical capability in the manufacture of weapons that are vital to support the mission of the AFP, PNP and other law enforcement agencies.
- Phase III - Establishment of Various Munitions Testing Facilities
Projected budget: Five Hundred Million Pesos (P500M)
The Arsenal shall be transformed from its present status as a mere small arms ammunition manufacturer into a multi-task-capable agency by establishing various facilities with necessary equipment and appropriate technology to hone and harness its technical know-how in the conduct of tests and evaluation of an assortment of defense material.
- Phase IV - Development of Arsenal's Capability to Manufacture Medium and Large Caliber Ammunition
Projected budget: Four Hundred Ninety-two Million Pesos (P492M) for a period of five years
The Arsenal shall require suitable equipment and the attendant technology and establish facilities to develop its capability in the manufacturer of medium and large caliber ammunition. This bill has been pending with the House Committee on National Defense since July 27, 2010.
Headstamp code for ammunition
Small arms ammunition manufactured by the Government Arsenal can be identified by the headstamp code: "RPA". This acronym stands for "Republic of the Philippines Arsenal".
- "Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid (IAEB): Multi-Station Bullet Assembly Machine for 5.56mm M193/M855". Department of National Defense. 2009-08-29. http://www.dnd.gov.ph/DNDWEBPAGE_files/dndbac/ITB/ITEABSep09/ITAEB%20GA.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-06. [dead link]
- "Supplemental bid bulletin Nr. GA 14SBAM-09-03". Department of National Defense. 2009-08-29. http://www.dnd.gov.ph/DNDWEBPAGE_files/dndbac/SB/2009/NOV/GA14SBAM-09-03%20%2811-24-2009%29.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-06. [dead link]
- "House Bill 00076". House of Representatives, 15th Congress of the Philippines. 2010-07-27. http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/basic_15/HB00076.pdf. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "Status of House Bill 00076". Congress.gov.ph. 2010-07-27. http://www.congress.gov.ph/legis/search/hist_show.php?congress=15&save=1&journal=&switch=0&bill_no=HB00076. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "International Ammunition Association, headstamp codes". Congress.gov.ph. http://cartridgecollectors.org/headstampcodes_bottom.htm#R. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
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