MANILA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) unveiled on Monday plans to buy more weapons, including pistols, machine guns and water assets this year to beef up their fighting capability at sea.
PCG spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said the weapons and water assets will cost the government about 1 billion pesos (around 20 million U.S. dollars).
Balilo also said the PCG has recently acquired 70 Travor sub-machine guns 9 mm worth 10 million pesos (around 200 thousand U.S. dollars). He said the weapons were delivered to the PCG on Monday.
PCG commandant Rear Adm. Elson Hermogino led the inspection of the newly-delivered Israeli-made weapons, which Balilo said "will be utilized by PCG's elite force in combating piracy and terrorism at sea."
"The PCG is also set to acquire a 1 billion worth of weaponry this year as provided in the General Appropriation Act of 2018," said Balilo. He said the weapons will be acquired from various sources, through public bidding.
"The acquisition will include 9 mm pistols for all of its personnel, assault and sniffer rifles for the Special Operations Force, machine guns for small boat operations, and heavy machine guns with automatic gyro stabilizer for PCG vessels," he added.
Balilo said the acquisition of these weapons "will beef up the PCG's capability for maritime security and law enforcement operations."
He admitted that the PCG is lacking in weapons. "We're worse than the police. These (weapons) are tools in the law enforcement. Like the police, we apprehend suspects," the official said.
Balilo said some of the machine guns being acquired will be fitted on newly-acquired multi-role vessels. "The ships from Japan, they have no guns. If we can buy and install them machine guns, it's going to be great," he added.