PH to get biggest military aid from U.S. amid territorial dispute with China

The United States government increased its military aid to the Philippines this year; making it the biggest in 15 years, Manila’s ambassador to Washington, Jose Cuisia, said Friday, April 8. Ambassador Cuisia, speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce in Manila, said the country got the biggest-ever allocation from the United States to enhance the defense and security of the Philippines.

He said the country, in addition to the $79 million in annual military aid it has received this year, will get another $42 million.

The two amounts represent the largest military aid since 2000, Philippine correspondent Raul Dancel said in his article published by The Straits Times on April 9, 2016.

Cuisia said he is also engaged in talks with the U.S. government to acquire a fourth Hamilton-class cutter that would enhance the country’s capability to patrol the Philippine waters.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the U.S. will send about $42 million in military aid to the Philippines to boost surveillance, intelligence-sharing and naval patrol.

The military aid package that Carter said will take the PH-US alliance to another level will include an enhanced information network for classified communications, sensors for patrol vessels and an unmanned aerostat reconnaissance airship.

The U.S. Defense secretary is set to visit the Philippines to personally observe the ongoing Balikatan exercises. But, according to Lt. Gen. John Toolan, Commanding General of the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific, the main purpose of Carter’s visit is to reaffirm that the relationship of U.S. with the Philippines is “rock solid and we’re side by side.”
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