Philippines Defence & Security Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the defence & security industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, BMI's Security Risk Reward Index, Company Profiles and Global, Regional and Country Industry Overviews.

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Philippines Defence & Security Report
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BMI View: Given President Duterte ' s recognition of the need to address military capability gaps identified under the former government's modernisation plan; his apparent favouring of a more independent foreign policy; and his vow to address internal security threats, we expect Philippine defence spending to see steady growth in coming years. Modernisation efforts will focus on counterterrorism/insurgency in 2017 - given ongoing offensives against militants - but increasingly cover the naval and air power segments over the longer term, as Manila works to strengthen protect ion of the country's air space and waters. Amid defence spending increases , growing international in volvement with the local sector and stronger government support for its development, the outlook for Philippine military manufacturers is brightening. Nevertheless, given the ir near-complete lack of design and development capabilities, Manila will remain reliant on foreign defence suppliers over the next decade.

Headline Defence Expenditure Forecasts (Philippines 2017-2021)
2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f 2021f
Note: Includes funding for military modernisation, excludes military pensions; f = BMI forecast. Source: ADB, BMI
Defence expenditure, % of GDP 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.9
Defence expenditure, USDmn 3,311 3,771 4,019 4,367 4,726
Defence expenditure, USD, % y-o-y 4.6 13.9 6.6 8.6 8.2

Latest Updates

  • For 2017, the Duterte administration has proposed a y-o-y defence budget increase of around 15% to PHP134.5bn (USD2.9bn) - not including military procurement, which falls under the AFP Modernization programme. Of the base budget, the vast majority would be directed towards the army (PHP56.9bn), with PHP20.6bn allocated for the navy and PHP18.9 for the air force. Funding for modernisation would come in at PHP25bn.

  • The 2016 Asian Defence, Security & Crisis Management (ADAS) expo held in Manila in September saw a 42% y-o-y increase in the number of exhibitors. During the expo, South Korea's Kia Motors and several Israeli companies expressed interest in collaboration programmes with Philippine defence companies. In addition, the Philippines' Government Arsenal outlined plans to set up an in-country defence industrial zone. These developments bode well for the country's domestic defence sector.

  • Manila signed an agreement for the supply of defence equipment and technology from Japan in March 2016, and was in talks with Moscow over potential defence industry collaboration and trade in September 2016.

  • Japan is set to provide the Philippines with multirole response vessels under a 'soft loan' arrangement. Manila is also in discussions with Tokyo over the procurement of two large-sized patrol ships, as well as the leasing of five Beechcraft TC-90 King Air advanced trainer aircraft.

  • In September 2016, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) received an USD337mn order from Manila for two light frigates for the Philippine navy.

  • The Philippine Marine Corps will receive eight amphibious assault vehicles from South Korea-based Hanwha under a USD50mn contract announced in Q116.

  • The Philippines in April 2016 received two C-130T Hercules transport aircraft from the US. Manila has also acquired a Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter and a (former) Melville-class oceanographic research ship from the US.

  • The Philippine navy has acquired three (former) Balikpapan-class landing craft from Australia.

  • In March 2016, the Philippine defence department announced it had chosen the AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat to meet its navy's anti-submarine warfare helicopter requirement.

  • In September 2016, IAI reported to be in preliminary discussions with Manila over a deal to supply the Philippine navy with its Super Dvora MKIII fast attack craft.

  • The Philippine air force has a requirement for close-air support aircraft - for which a request for proposals is reportedly to be re-issued 'shortly'.

  • In August 2016, the air force confirmed plans to procure additional attack helicopters.

  • In March 2016, the defence ministry announced it had revived a USD126mn programme to acquire two long-range patrol aircraft.

  • Saab has announced it plans to open an office in Manila by end-2016, in an attempt to sell its Gripen fighter to the Philippine air force.

  • A military offensive against Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has resulted in heavy casualties for the terrorist organisation, and will likely lead to a short-term weakening of its capabilities. That said, ASG leadership has warned of attacks in response to the offensive, and the group still retains significant numbers of fighters and weapons. We believe the frequency of strikes and kidnappings is likely to intensify in 2017.

  • Leaders of militant groups Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) met with Duterte in June 2016 to discuss peace agreements.

  • The chances of a lasting peace deal between Manila and the country's Communist rebels have improved with Duterte's election to office. Peace talks have resumed, and the rebels have indicated willingness to negotiate with the new president. Nevertheless, the situation remains highly fragile on the ground.

  • We believe Duterte's crackdown on criminal activity will lead to a reduction in crime rates in coming years. That said, security forces' heavy-handedness could lead to reprisal actions, both by criminal organisations and indignant relatives of victims. In addition, they could complicate Manila's relationship with foreign governments that have expressed concerns about the campaign on human rights grounds.

  • In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China's historical claim over more than 80% of the South China Sea was invalid.

  • Duterte has adopted a noticeably anti-US tone, while sounding more accommodating towards China over his first few months in office. He has increasingly emphasised that he will pursue an 'independent foreign policy' that would entail warmer relations with China.

Defence Industry Risk Reward Index (RRI)

Demand for defence equipment in the Philippines remains strong, given large-scale military modernisation efforts and the range of security threats faced by the country. This boosts the Philippines' score in the Industry Rewards segment of our Defence Industry RRI. Meanwhile - although set to improve in coming years on the back of reforms - economic and investment openness in the Philippines remain moderate at present, lowering its Country Rewards Score. On the risks side of the matrix, high levels of defence imports boost the country's overall performance, while a limited defence budget compared regionally; moderate levels of labour market and manufacturing sector quality; and persistent corruption weighs it down. Overall, we award the Philippines a Defence Industry RRI score of 49 out of 100 for 2017, ranking it ninth out of 14 Asia Pacific states.

BMI Industry View
Philippines Defence SWOT
Operational Risk
Industry Forecast
Table: Defence Expenditure (Philippines 2012-2019)
Armed Forces
Table: Armed Forces Personnel (Philippines 2005-2012)
Table: Manpower Available For Military Service (Philippines 2012-2019)
Defence Trade
Table: Defence Trade Balance (Philippines 2012-2019)
Table: Defence Imports (Philippines 2012-2019)
Table: Defence Exports (Philippines 2012-2019)
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Table: Economic Activity (Philippines 2010-2019)
Industry Risk Reward Ratings
Philippines Defence Risk Ratings
Table: Asia Pacific Defence Risk Reward Index
Market Overview
Philippines Defence Market Overview
Table: Philippines Deployments
Domestic Defence Sector
Domestic Market
Table: Philippines Defence Agreements
Philippines Security Overview
Domestic Threats
Regional Threats
International Threats
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Company Profile
Arms Corporation of the Philippines (Armscor)
Government Arsenal
Regional Overview
South East Asia Security Overview
Challenges And Threats To Stability And Security
Global Industry Overview
Political Risk Analysis
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology
Table: Defence Risk/Reward Index Indicators
Table: Weighting of Defence Risk Reward Index

The Philippines Defence & Security Report features BMI Research's independent forecasts for national and international security, the defence industry, military expenditure, employment in arms production, and arms imports and exports, as well as examining industry trends and prospects, national and multinational arms producers and the regulatory environment.

BMI's Philippines Defence & Security Report provides professionals, consultancies, government departments, regulatory bodies and researchers with independent forecasts and regional competitive intelligence on the Philippine defence and security industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent defence and security industry forecasts on Philippines to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and strategic business planning in the Philippine defence and security market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Asia defence and security sector through reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Asia.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. KPIs and latest activity).


Global and Regional Political Outlooks

A strategic overview of the world’s major political risks, identifying countries facing leadership successions and nations at risk of upheaval, inter-state conflict, or separatism and insurgencies, plus a summary of the world’s ‘wild card’ low-probability high-impact risks.

SWOT Analysis

Snapshot evaluation of the major issues affecting the defence and security sectors, economy and politics, with issues subdivided into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Historic data series and forecasts to end-2019 for key industry indicators supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.

  • Defence Expenditure: Defence expenditure (local currency and USDbn); defence expenditure (% of total budget); defence expenditure per capita (USD); defence budget (local currency and USDbn).
  • Armed Forces (to 2012): Manpower available for military service, manpower fit for militaryservice, army personnel, navy personnel,air force personnel, total armed forces, (‘000) (% population).
  • Arms Trade: Arms and ammunition exports and imports (USDmn); bombs, grenades and missiles exports and imports (USDmn); revolver and pistol exports and imports (USDmn); weapons excluding guns and swords exports and imports (USDmn).

Political Risk Assessment

Drawing on BMI’s heritage of more than 25 years of Country Risk analysis, this comprehensively evaluates the key risks to domestic politics and foreign relations, focusing on issues most likely to affect either domestic security or the defence sector.

Security Risk Analysis

BMI’s proprietary Security Risk Indices provide investors with a reliable and country-comparable guide to conflict, terrorism and criminal risk, backed up by our analyst’s latest assessment of each component. Furthermore, drawing on our Country Risk expertise, we assess the state’s vulnerability to a serious, or prolonged, terrorist campaign.

Armed Forces Spending/ Expenditure

The reports contain a detailed breakdown of areas of expenditure by the armed forces, these include spending on international deployments, WMDs and missile defence systems as well as individual breakdowns of the cost-per-soldier.

Competitive Landscape

The domestic security overview lists the various potential internal security threats facing a country, ranging from internal security issues such as terrorism, cyber terrorism, crime and drugs, to external security issues including general defence procedures and potential threats from specific countries. The reports also provide a regional overview which details specific issues and flashpoints affecting the Americas, along with potential risks in the coming year.

Company Profiles*

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.


The Defence & Security Market reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.