The Philippine military chief says the country plans to acquire patrol ships, aircraft and an air defense radar system so it is better able to guard its territory in and near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Military chief Gen. Eduardo Oban said Monday it remains uncertain when the massive funding for the acquisitions could be made available. They were initially estimated at about $180 million (8 billion pesos).
Oban says the government has asked the military to list equipment needed to strengthen territorial defense in Palawan, the southwestern Philippine province nearest the Spratlys.
China, the Philippines and other countries claim all or parts of the Spratlys.