Honasan wants inventory of planesBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Gregorio Honasan wants an inventory of the country’s reliable noncommercial aircraft from both the government and private sectors that may be tapped when they are urgently needed by high-ranking officials and by ordinary citizens in emergency situations.
Honasan made the remark as he filed Senate Resolution No. 847, seeking a Senate inquiry on the condition of the Philippines’ air and sea and public and private transportation assets in the wake of the plane crash that killed Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo last week.
The chair of the Senate committee on public order said that while it would be easy to justify the purchase of a new airplane for President Aquino, the government would not be able to afford buying an aircraft for each of the Cabinet officials.
“If your objective is to make available reliable transportation for Cabinet officials… we have to be imaginative about this,” Honasan told the Inquirer.
Honasan suggested a public-private partnership system wherein well-maintained government and private air and sea assets are mapped and made available when the need arises.
He said private corporations whose aircraft and sea vessels are tapped by the government may be compensated, for instance, by being given tax shields to reimburse fuel costs and pilots’ fees.
Honasan said that to avoid the perception that this would just benefit government officials, the system could also be tapped to serve emergency situations.
“For instance, if a child in Tawi-Tawi needs urgent medical attention, the secretary of health could tap into this system to transport the child,” he said.
Honasan said his resolution has been referred to the committee on public services chaired by Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.
The resolution seeks an inquiry in aid of legislation of the country’s air and sea transportation “in view of the archipelagic nature of our country, the urgent need for a rationalized management of our air and sea assets to improve safety, efficiency, convergence and self reliance in our related manufacturing industries.”