âPresidential jetâ makes maiden flight to Davao City
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Secretary Carlito Galvez pose in front of the Gulfstream G280 prior to its inaugural flight to Davao City on Monday in this handout photo.

‘Presidential jet’ makes maiden flight to Davao City

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s new Gulfstream G280, a command and control aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), also dubbed as the presidential jet, made its maiden flight to Davao City on Monday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and other members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) were the first passengers of the aircraft.

PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Aristides Galang Jr. said the IATF officials brought personnel protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies to Davao City.

Galang said the aircraft was turned over to the PAF at Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga, also on Monday.

Defense officials had defended the purchase of a brand-new jet worth $36.999 million or around P2 billion, saying it would ”serve as a platform” to carry senior officials, especially during emergencies.

The President, Armed Forces chief, defense secretary and other major service commanders can use the jet.

Defense officials said it is unfair to brand the G280 as a luxury aircraft, noting that while the jet is meant to be comfortable as it carries senior government and military officials, the purpose of the aircraft is for command and control.

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