Latest Stories

Bidding for 21 Huey choppers fails anew, says Defense exec



MANILA, Philippines—Bidding for 21 refurbished Huey helicopters was declared a failure for the third time on Friday after it fell short of requirements, delaying anew the military’s bid for increased air mobility.

At a bidding conference at Camp Aguinaldo, a joint venture  of US-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters Limited failed to satisfy requirements on previous contracts, and at the same time had issues on the signatories in some documents, with a number of them lacking the needed official signatures.

“While it is unfortunate that we have to declare the (failed) bidding, we are still going to pursue the implementation of this project,” Defense Undersecretary and chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee Fernando Manalo said.

The helicopters, meant to be used for last May’s midterm elections, would also boost the mobility of troops during disaster operations and in fighting insurgency. However, bidding for the P1.26 billion poject failed twice, first in December and again in February.

Four of the eight companies which brought documents were present, but only one participated in the bidding. Under Republic Act 9184, even one applicant is qualified to bid for a project so long as it meets the requirements.

Manalo said they were considering negotiating procurement.

“It is an option that were are going to consider,” he said.

“Honestly I am deeply saddened. We get 20 storms a year and this is one of the primary equipment we use during disaster. We know that our troops need this on the field throughout the country, and also for our economic development we use it,” Manalo said.

“These are cases that is truly saddening and unfortunate, but what is important is we do not set this aside,” he said. “We can assure you that although we are saddened, we will be more aggressive in pursuing modernization.”

The UH-1H is the primary helicopter of the Philippine Air Force. There are currently 79 Hueys in the Air Force inventory, 33 are beyond economical repair, 25 are recoverable but would need a budget for repair,  while only 21 are operational.

A former Air Force pilot himself, Manalo expressed confidence with the government’s choice of Hueys instead of other helicopters, saying it ranks fourth out of 10 best helicopters in the world.

“I was never scared to ride (a Huey),” he said.

Air Force Vice Commander Major General Raul Dimatatac also vouched  the reliability of Hueys.

“We have been using this for so long, we are familiar with it and that’s important,” he said, adding that spare parts of Hueys are available in the next 20 years.

“Even if we are blindfolded, we are familiar with its parts,” he said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: bidding , Defense , Huey , Military , PAF , Philippine Air Force , procurement , Security

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace