The Philippine government is looking to acquire various defense equipment like night-vision goggles, spy drones, communications equipment and fast attack boats that will be provided under a soft loan offered by the Chinese government.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that China is offering a long-term loan package amounting to $500 million dollars with low-interest rate, but was being studied by the Department of National Defense (DND) for the ongoing AFP modernization program.

A one-time grant of 100 million yuan (about $14 million) from China for the defense equipment was set to receive by the Philippines, following the meeting of President Duterte with Chinese envoy to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua last week, Dec. 19 at Malacañang Palace, Lorenzana said.

President Duterte with Chinese envoy to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua

The Chinese Ambassador disclosed that China is supporting President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs and terrorism, so they immediately approved a grant of P720 million worth of firearms to be used by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Lorenzana said, “We at the DND and AFP are still preparing our list, but we will have to tailor-fit the list of equipment to be obtained within the offered grant and assures that the purchases would match the modernization needs of the AFP.”

His team would visit China next year to check the weapons being offered, Lorenzana added. -JCE.