President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. stated in Switzerland on Wednesday that the Philippines is not interested in expanding its arsenal because the government believes that military solutions are not always the best way to solve problems (Thursday, PH Time).
During a discussion with World Economic Forum (WEF) president Brge Brende in Davos, Marcos was asked if he would increase the defense budget, as Japan is doing by increasing defense spending to 2% of GDP within five years.
“Is that something you run onto on your ticket or is that something that you’re reflecting on in the Philippines?” Brende asked Marcos.
The President replied, “Well, I think to an extent but not — because the belief is that first of all, there is no point the Philippines building up its armory.”
He added that it is the Philippines’ “abiding belief that the solutions [to issues] are not going to be military.”
Marcos emphasized his conviction that military solutions “will end badly for everyone involved,” noting the war in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, which harmed not just neighboring countries but also the Philippines.
President Marcos says ‘no point the Philippines building up its armory’
“I think all of us were quite surprise, especially us in the Philippines to think that a war in Eastern Europe would affect agriculture in the Philippines and I guess it just goes to shows how well connected that is,” he said.
For the fiscal year 2023, P240.7 billion was given to the Department of National Defense, and P31 billion was given to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
Marcos said that despite the agreements made with the US, relations between Manila and Washington have been improving.
“And we are able to continue not only in terms of trade, and in terms of diplomatic relationship but beyond that we have security arrangements with the United States and that has come to the forefront whereas perhaps we were bit on the back burner for a little while, that has again come to the forefront because of the increased tensions in our part of the world,” Marcos said.