Philippine government plans record defense spending amid China row

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Philippine fighter jetsThe Philippine government is proposing to spend a record 25 billion pesos ($552 million) in 2016 to purchase frigates, patrol planes and radars to improve surveillance and detection in the disputed South China Sea, officials in Manila said on July 20 according to an AFP report.

The funds to modernise the military are part of President Benigno Aquino’s 3 trillion pesos ($66.24 billion) budget bill for 2016, his last year in office. Aquino is no longer eligible to run for a second term.

“We need to protect what is clearly within our territorial jurisdiction,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said, when asked if the increase was due to the Philippines’ maritime row with China.

“Certainly, we need to at least be able to effectively monitor the developments in the area, particularly those in disputed zones,” he added.

Under the 3-trillion-peso budget bill, defense spending would be 25 per cent higher than the 20-billion-peso military budget last year and five times bigger than in 2013, the officials said. The proposed defense budget is part of a five-year, 75-billion-peso military modernisation programme approved by Aquino in 2013.

However, the amount would still be dwarfed by China, which budgeted $142.9 billion for its military this year.


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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Philippine government is proposing to spend a record 25 billion pesos ($552 million) in 2016 to purchase frigates, patrol planes and radars to improve surveillance and detection in the disputed South China Sea, officials in Manila said on July 20 according to an AFP report.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine fighter jetsThe Philippine government is proposing to spend a record 25 billion pesos ($552 million) in 2016 to purchase frigates, patrol planes and radars to improve surveillance and detection in the disputed South China Sea, officials in Manila said on July 20 according to an AFP report.

The funds to modernise the military are part of President Benigno Aquino’s 3 trillion pesos ($66.24 billion) budget bill for 2016, his last year in office. Aquino is no longer eligible to run for a second term.

“We need to protect what is clearly within our territorial jurisdiction,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said, when asked if the increase was due to the Philippines’ maritime row with China.

“Certainly, we need to at least be able to effectively monitor the developments in the area, particularly those in disputed zones,” he added.

Under the 3-trillion-peso budget bill, defense spending would be 25 per cent higher than the 20-billion-peso military budget last year and five times bigger than in 2013, the officials said. The proposed defense budget is part of a five-year, 75-billion-peso military modernisation programme approved by Aquino in 2013.

However, the amount would still be dwarfed by China, which budgeted $142.9 billion for its military this year.


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