The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Philippines to Spend Big on Massive Military Modernization

Sputnik News

03:10 23.12.2015(updated 04:17 23.12.2015)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Monday promised that an 83.9-billion-peso ($1.77 billion) allocation for military modernization projects would be spent by 2017 as the country is in the midst of a territorial dispute with China.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the country's armed forces, Aquino said his administration had already spent 56.79 billion pesos of the full 2017 disbursement on 'big-ticket' modernization programs, the Defense News reported.

That figure is more than the sum spent by the three previous administrations combined, said Aquino, who took office in 2010 and leaves next year.

'Back then, because of lack of equipment, there was a soldier in a sensitive operation carrying a purple backpack from a fast food chain. I just don't think a purple backpack is suited for an operation in the jungle,' he told soldiers.

Among the new equipment purchased in recent years are FA-50 jets, the country's first supersonic fighter aircraft in a decade. Two of 12 South Korea-made jets have been delivered and Aquino pledged that the remainder would reach the country before the end of 2017, Defense News reported.

He praised the military for performing difficult duties, singling out the Marines for manning an outpost in the South China Sea to defend Manila's territorial claims.

China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, but the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have overlapping claims. At the same time that the Philippines is criticizing China's assertiveness in disputed waters, it is also is beefing up its military, one of the weakest in the region.

Aquino has also ramped up efforts to fortify the country's security by improving defense ties with allies like the United States and Japan.

Sputnik



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list