PH gets bulk of US security funding to Southeast Asia

MANILA — The Philippines will be getting the largest chunk from the USD300-million security funding of the United States to Southeast Asia, a senior official from the State Department revealed recently.

“The Secretary announced in Singapore we have close to USD300 million in security assistance, (and) the country that receives the largest chunk as far as I understand is the Philippines,” said Walter Douglas, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

“We’re looking at about USD60 million of that USD300 million to come to the Philippines,” he added.

Douglas said this amount already means “something,” but it’s more of a recognition to the “longterm partnership” Washington has with Manila on the security front.

“That will cover all sorts of area (from) peacekeeping, maritime domain awareness, and all sorts of area we think we could work very well with the Philippines.”

On the sidelines of a meeting with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to provide at least USD300 million in fresh security funding for the region.

The US Embassy in Manila also announced it will contribute USD26.5 million over the next two years to boost counterterrorism support for Philippine law enforcement agencies. (PNA)

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