Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a five-year plan to spend 300 billion pesos (around 5.6 billion USD) to modernise the military, defence officials said on June 20.

The sum will be used to buy brand-new equipment, such as fighters, drones, light tanks, radar, an additional frigate and a submarine, to boost the country’s defence capability, said a defence official, who declined to be named.

President Duterte ratified the plan at a meeting with top defence and military officials last month. A senior general said the President had adopted 33 modernisation projects, with a focus on domestic security and protecting the maritime borders of the nation.

The previous administration of the then President Benigno Aquino spent about 1.7 billion USD on the military during its 2010-2016 term, mostly on secondhand ships and planes.

The Philippines has received donated military equipment from Australia, China, Japan, Russia and the US, mostly to assist in disaster response and fighting militants and pirates.-VNA