PH to procure armaments from Chinese firm. Letter of intent to be signed today. $500 million loan from China to be used as a last resort.

Armaments from China.poly

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In another step that hopefully brings the Philippines to China, the government is entering into an agreement for procuring arms. The supplier who will provide the armaments is a state-owned manufacturer of arms from China.
Consequently, the signing of an MOU to procure defense equipment is likely today, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced. For this purpose, Lorenzana summoned a press briefing late on Sunday night.

However, he categorically stated that this signing of a document was only an initial step; a starting point. The Chinese suppliers finalized the groundwork for the future dealings during a courtesy call to President Duterte.

Officials of the Poly Technologies Incorporated met President Duterte on Sunday. The President was in Beijing to attend the One Belt One Road Forum that is a two day affair.

The inventory

Poly Technologies, is China’s largest exporter of armaments, Lorenzana said.

It manufactures a vast range of defense equipment and supplies them worldwide.

The Philippines was keen on procuring Drones, Fast boats and airplanes apart from other assets.

However, the President instructed the Defense Secretary to ask the three wings of the defense forces for their requirements.

Once the wish list arrives, they will finalize the priority of needs order the hardware.

The Chinese government is offering a $500-million loan for the purchase of military hardware; its disbursal will not be immediate. They will first utilize funds allotted to the AFP for its modernization.

The Philippines will procure the armaments depending on the priority and the availability of funds. The government will utilize the loan only if the necessity is inescapable at that time.

But, before any orders placing, an analysis of the technological offerings is necessary. Hence, a technical team will assess each item on offer from Poly Technologies.

Moreover, Lorenzana clarified that the letter of intent does not bar the Philippines from making procurements from elsewhere.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Monday, May 15, 2017