November 26, 2013 (by Lieven Dewitte) - In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the Department of National Defense is eying the acquisition of additional C-130 cargo planes – the workhorse in the relief effort.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, wants P1.5 billion (25.000EUR/33.000USD) allocated for the repair of three C-130 planes of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
“The recent tragic events have proven one indisputable point: C-130s are essential transport,” Recto said. “They should be high up on the list of disaster response equipment. Their purchase should be part of disaster preparation.”
Based on PAF estimates, the cost of refurbishing one C-130 would reach P500 million (8 million EUR/11 million USD).
Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said only two of the three planes are involved in relief efforts since one of them is undergoing maintenance.
“In terms of strategic lift, the C-130 is very important to us,” he said.
You have seen how these planes were used. They were used during calamities. We need more (assets) and we will try to acquire more as resources allow us.”
The PAF would be happy to have nine C-130 planes to airlift personnel and delivery supplies to mission areas, Bautista said.