Philippines Military - 2021


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Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP): Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force (2021)

note: the Philippine Coast Guard is an armed and uniformed service under the Department of Transportation; it would be attached to the AFP in wartime; the Philippine National Police Force (PNP) falls under the Ministry of Interior and Local Government

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2020 est.)

1% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

1.2% of GDP (2017)

1.4% of GDP (2016)

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have approximately 130,000 active duty personnel (90,000 Army; 25,000 Navy, including about 8,000 marines; 17,000 Air Force) (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the AFP is equipped with a mix of imported weapons systems, particularly second-hand equipment from the US; since 2014, its top weapons suppliers are Indonesia, South Korea, and the US (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-23 years of age (officers 21-29) for voluntary military service; no conscription (2019)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; an emerging threat area lies in the Celebes and Sulu Seas between the Philippines and Malaysia where three ships were attacked in 2020; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargoes stolen

Military - note

as of late 2020, the AFP's primary operational focus was on internal security duties, particularly in the south, where several insurgent and terrorist groups operated and up to 60% of the armed forces were deployed; the Philippines National Police (PNP) also has an active role in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations alongside the AFP, particularly the Special Action Force, a PNP commando unit that specializes in counter-terrorism operations.

NOTE: The information regarding Philippines on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Philippines 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Philippines 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.