^

PNoy: Classrooms first before fighter planes

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2013 - 8:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - A new fighter jet will cost government some P1.58 billion,  which would  be enough to construct 2,000 new classrooms, President Benigno Aquino III said in his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

After recently vowing modernization for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Aquino backtracked and said budget is better allocated for education or for building thousands of housing units for policemen and soldiers.

"May ilan pong nagsasabi na kailangang patibayin ang Sandatahang Lakas. Sang-ayon po ako dito. Pero tila ba ang gusto nila ay ilagak ang bawat sentimo ng kabang bayan para sa fighter jets, tangke de guerra, at iba pang gamit pandigma," Aquino said.

He added that having a fighter jet is futile if it not part of a squadron of 23 other fighter aircraft costing P37.92 billion in total.

Moreover, the planes will need fuel, missile systems, radar, ground bases and intercept controls to operate effectively.

"Hindi po talaga biro ang gastos para sa isang minimum credible defense posture; gagayahin pa ba natin ang iba, na handang kalimutan ang lahat para lang makuha ang nuclear option?" Aquino said.

The president added that there needs to be a balance in priorities to address the country's more immediate needs.

Last December, Aquino expressed support to the AFP Modernization Program providing security forces an initial funding of P75 billion for reform and acquisition.

The Department of National Defense (DND) also purchased two warships now named BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Gregorio del Pilar the past year. These ships were previously commissioned  by the US military.

The funding of the BRP Tagbanua, first locally built landing craft utility, and the acquisition of eight Sokol Combat Utility Helicopters were also completed under the program.

DND, however, has recently gone to market for 12 F/A-50 aircrafts costing P1.58 billion per unit. According to a Palace technical report, DND is currently negotiating with Korea for the purchase.

AQUINO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BENIGNO DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE LAST DECEMBER MODERNIZATION PROGRAM RAMON ALCARAZ SANDATAHANG LAKAS SOKOL COMBAT UTILITY HELICOPTERS STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with