Other Government Release

PH, UK explore collaboration in defense, investment

February 19, 2024 (Quezon City) — Secretary of National Defense Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. welcomed the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Philippines, Richard Graham CMG MP, during a courtesy call at the Department of National Defense (DND) on Monday.

The discussion focused on shared security challenges, including the South China Sea, and potential avenues for collaboration in defense and investment. Both sides expressed interest in exploring joint ventures with British investors and other forms of cooperation to support the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

Secretary Teodoro emphasized the importance of the recently signed Philippines-UK Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation and the ongoing strengthening of the bilateral defense relationship. He likewise highlighted the RAFPMP’s priorities, including addressing past project gaps, enhancing command and control capabilities, building domain awareness, and developing area denial capabilities.

Mr. Graham, on his part, echoed the UK’s desire for closer defense ties with the Philippines, citing current global climate and geopolitical concerns. He reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to collaborating with allies and partners under the “Protect, Align, and Engage” framework outlined in the 2023 Integrated Review Refresh, the UK’s national security and international strategy document.

Accompanying Mr. Graham were His Majesty’s Ambassador (HMA) to the Philippines Laure Beaufils, Country Director for Trade and Investment Dr. James Thackery, and British Defence Attaché to the Philippines Group Captain Bea Walcot.