Only 1 C-130 of PH Air Force being used for relief missions, says Senate defense committee chief
MANILA, Philippines—Only one out of four C-130s of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is being used for heavy-lift humanitarian transport missions.
The chair of the Senate national defense committee, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, said this on Friday (Nov. 20) during budget debates in the chamber.
As defense committee chair, Lacson sponsored the Department of National Defense budget.
Sen. Imee Marcos inquired about the PAF’s medium-lift aircraft acquisition for disaster response efforts. Lacson instead brought up the status of the heavy-lift planes.
The C-130, the biggest plane of the PAF, is currently used for transport of relief goods and personnel in areas devastated by recent typhoons.
These planes were also heavily used to transport personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to support the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lacson said two of the PAF’s C-130s are undergoing repair and maintenance while one is scheduled for maintenance.
Under the general appropriations bill in the House of Representatives, P2 billion was allotted for the downpayment of two heavy-lift transport planes, Lacson said.
He was referring to the PAF’s planned acquisition of five brand new C-130J Super Hercules, the newest variation of Lockheed Martin’s C-130 aircraft.
The PAF is also expecting the delivery of two refurbished C-130H Hercules from the United States. Both planes cost P2.5 billion but the Philippines would pay only P1.6 billion while the US would bankroll the rest of the amount or P900 million.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.