Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday announced that the People's Republic of China has committed to provide 100 million yuan (equivalent to Php720 million) worth of equipment to the Philippines.
He made this statement shortly after the gift-giving activity on Tuesday at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in V. Luna, Quezon City.
Lorenzana said the commitment was made by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua during a meeting with him and President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night.
"They asked us what we need and they provided us with a equipment list and we will look into that to determine what type can we can. Their commitment is 100 million yuan which is equivalent to Php720 million and that only amount to US$ 14.4 million," the DND chief said in Filipino.
Lorenzana said the grant will allow them to acquire small arms, speed boats or night-vision goggles.
The DND chief said he is hopeful that the country will be able to finalize the Philippine request list before the end of this year.
And by first quarter next year, a technical working group will be deployed to China to look into the equipment.
Lorenzana is confident that the Chinese military equipment will be transferred by second quarter of 2017.
Aside from these, China has also offered soft loans amounting to US$ 500 million for the acquisition of big-ticket military items.
He added that they are still to discuss on what these items are.
Lorenzana said these concessions were offered by China to help the country in its ongoing campaign against terrorism and the illegal drug menace.
"(Ambassador Zhao Jianhua) told the President that he is well aware of our problems in terrorism and illegal drugs, and they want to help us," he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency