Loading
Breaking
Now Reading: ROBUST AND GROWING | US increased Foreign Military Financing for the Philippines
ROBUST AND GROWING | US increased Foreign Military Financing for the Philippines
November 7, 2019 , 05:47 PM

By Dale De Vera, News5

(November 7, 2019) WASHINGTON, D.C.— The United States has increased military funding to help modernize the local armed forces, Manila’s diplomats to the United States said on Thursday, amid rising tension in the disputed South China Sea.

Philippine embassy officials said the level of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) has been increasing since President Rodrigo Duterte was swept into office in 2016 despite his anti-American rhetoric and pro-China policies.

Speaking to a select group of visiting Filipino journalists, Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez said this only show how US supports the plan to modernize the Philippine military.

“We have indicated that we would like to really modernize and upgrade our Armed Forces” Romualdez said. “We want to really give it a very strong defense posture. I think they too would like to see us be able to do. Kaya nga mutual defense treaty ‘di ba? Dapat mutually defensible tayo.”

When asked to describe the state of Philippine-American relations, he said: “I think our relationship with this country is probably one of its best.”

Minister and Consul Rosanna Villamor-Voogel of the Philippine Embassy in Washington also said the country received a bigger amount of foreign military finance assistance from the U.S. government in the last two years

“We recently received news actually that the assistance combined to be provided by the US government would amount to about $53 million and that is higher than two years ago,” Villamor-Voogel said.

Villamor-Voogel said the significant military aid is only an indication of the continued interest of the US government to find ways to help and complement the priority of President Duterte.

Figures from the US State Department showed the FMF for the Philippines in 2014 amounted to $50 million and went even lower in 2015 at $40 million – the last two years in the previous administration.

Duterte was elected in 2016.

In a briefing at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, Minister and Consul Gunther Sales explained that since fiscal year 2016, the Philippines has received a total of $554.55 million in defense assistance from the US State Department as well as US Defense Department.

“Broken down, $267.75 million has come from foreign military financing, including Southeast Asia Maritime security assistance and another $73 million plus in fiscal year 2018 assistance another $278.8 million in DOD Security Assistance and over $8 million in international military education and training funds,” Sales explained.

Meanwhile, Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia of the US Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Mark Clark, told Filipino journalists that the two countries continue to cooperate closely in other important security areas with counter-terrorism among others.

Clark said, “as friends and allies, we stand together with the Philippines to pursue and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, a region which all countries large and small secure their sovereignty, remain free of coercion and are able to prosper into the future.”

“We remain dedicated to working together with the Philippine government together with the Filipino people to pursue our common goal of shared goals of security and prosperity,” he added.

The Philippines has partial claims in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway also claimed bu Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and China.

US has been transferring surveillance equipment to enhance the country’s maritime domain awareness in the South China Sea.

US and Philippine militaries have been holding maritime security drills near the disputed waters believed to be rich in energy resources. (MM)

More From News5
Idol Raffy, magbibigay ng higit sa isang milyon para mabuo ang isang pamilya?
Nagharapan ang mag-asawang Edgar at Chona sa #WantedsaRadyo para ayusin ang problema nila. Ilang beses na raw kasing nanlalaki si Chona kaya napapabayaan ang kanilang mga anak. Sumbat naman ni Chona, sugarol daw kasi ang asawa kaya gusto na niyang itong iwanan. Kaya para mapag-ayos ang dalawa, tutulungan daw sila ni idol Raffy na makapagbagong-buhay. Dahil dito, humirit ni Chona na kung pwedeng matulungan din siya ni idol Raffy na mabayaran ang kanyang mga utang at makapagsimula ng negosyo. Ayon sa napag-usapan nila sa studio, aabot nang higit sa isang milyon ang posibleng matanggap nina Chona kabilang na ang sasakyang pang-negosyo at bagong bahay para sa mga anak niya sa una niyang asawa. Ano kaya ang plano ni idol Raffy at maglalabas siya ng ganito kalaking pera para mabuo ang pamilya nina Chona?
Published On: January 20, 2020
DOH, nagbabala vs. pekeng N95 mask
Ayon sa DOH ay peke ang ibinibentang N95 mask kung ito'y malambot at manipis. | via Maricel Halili
Published On: January 20, 2020
Mabilis na pagresponde sa Taal eruption, pinuri ni Pres. Duterte
Nagbiro naman si Pres. Rodrigo Duterte na panahon na para muling magbigay ng alay ang mga residente para kumalma ang Taal Volcano. | via Justinne Punsalang
Published On: January 20, 2020
Explainer | Taal Topography
Binago ng mga nagdaang pagsabog ng Taal Volcano ang topograpiya ng Batangas at mga kalapit na probinsya.
Published On: January 20, 2020
Mga negosyo sa Tagaytay, apektado ng ashfall
Pinadapa ng abo ang kabuhayan sa mga bayang malapit sa Taal Volcano. | via Gerard de la Peña
Published On: January 20, 2020
Animal rescue sa Batangas
Kanya-kanyang paraan ang ilang residente para iligtas at pakainin ang mga alagang hayop na apektado rin ng ashfall.
Published On: January 20, 2020
Nabisto ang iligal na sideline
Nagtatrabaho pa bilang pedicab driver ang dalawa sa limang naaresto sa drug buy-bust operations sa Pasay at Maynila.
Published On: January 20, 2020
Pagbitak ng mga kalsada malapit sa Taal, pwedeng mauwi sa volcanic climactic eruption
Nagbabala ang PHIVOLCS na kapag lumalala at nagpatuloy ang pag-alburoto ng #TaalVolcano, puwede itong mauwi sa volcanic tsunami at climactic eruption.
Published On: January 20, 2020
Aksyon year-ender part 2: Politics
Electoral protest vs. VP Robredo, mga kaso ng pamilya Marcos at ang hatol sa Maguindanao Massacre ang ilan sa mga mainit na balitang nangibabaw ngayong taon.
Published On: January 7, 2020
US senator, inihirit ang patas na paglilitis kay Sen. De Lima
Pinayuhan naman ni Sen. Bong Go ang mga US senators na kumakampi kay Sen. Leila De lima na huwag makialam sa mga proseso sa Pilipinas. | via Ria Fernandez
Published On: January 7, 2020
Top Stories
LOCKDOWN | PH suspends flights to, from Wuhan over new coronavirus
JANUARY 23, 2020 — The country’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Thursday suspended all flights to and from Wuhan City in China, the epicenter
Published On: January 23, 2020
SNUBBING TRUMP | Duterte turns down invite to US-ASEAN summit in Vegas
JANUARY 23, 2020 — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will skip the summit meeting between the United States and the 10-member Associa
Published On: January 23, 2020
HOST SPECIES | Snakes, bats identified as possible 2019-nCoV sources
By David Stanway and Sophie Yu SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Jan 23 (Reuters) – A new coronavirus spreading from the city of Wuhan has put a spotlight on
Published On: January 23, 2020
RISKS REMAIN | Phivolcs warns Taal eruption is still 30% possible
JANUARY 23, 2020 – Taal volcano has showed signs of calming down in the last 24 hours, but the state volcanology and seismology on Thursday w
Published On: January 23, 2020
ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN | Philippine economy slows down, weakest in 8 years
JANUARY 23, 2020 – External problems and delays in the budget approval which resulted in a slowdown in public infrastructure have impacted in
Published On: January 23, 2020