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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Government Ready to Defend Philippine Territory

The Philippine government is unperturbed by China's decision to increase it's military spending since it has a different budget priority compared to the giant Asian neighbor. PCO Sec. Coloma Jr. affirmed that the government prioritizes fighting poverty but remains prepared to defend the nation's territory despite it's limited resources. At present Coloma disclosed that poverty reduction not defense and security takes a larger slice of the 2014 national budget. The defense sector, on the other hand only receives Php 89.54 Billion in the 2014 national budget. Given the government limited funds Coloma admitted that the Philippines couldn't compete with the level of defense spending of other rich countries like China. He insisted that reducing poverty is more important that building up the country's military and defense capabilities. China reportedly plans to increase it's defense budget by 12.2 % this year to $131.57 Billion. The figure is reportedly the highest since 2011. The funds will reportedly be used to modernize China's weapons and equipments, raise benefits of service personnel and update it's army's management system. China's increased defense budget came amid and heightened tension in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippines has lodged a complaint against China's incursions into it's territory before an international arbitration tribunal. Recently it protested China's use of water hose on Pilipino fishermen at the Panatag Shoal located within the country's legitimate territory.     
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