Philippine Army Recruitment Numbers Skyrocket

On March 12, the spokesman for the Philippine Army, Louie Dema-ala, announced that almost 40,000 individuals have applied to join the Philippine Army since the beginning of the year, according to Inquierer.Net

For context, there were 45,000 applicants for the entirety of 2023, as reported by Mr. Dema-ala.

This comes as China has engaged in increasingly aggressive actions towards Philippine assets in the South China Sea, using water cannons, high-energy lasers, and ramming attacks to deter Philippine access. These attacks are happening more frequently, according to Foreign Policy. 

The President of the Philippines has also recently announced that “the territorial integrity of the Philippines cannot be threatened, and if threats are made, then we must defend against those threats”, in reference to China, according to Reuters. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Philippine Government in December that China will maintain military pressure on the Philippines in the South China Sea, according to Reuters.