PIA Press Release
Friday, January 06, 2012
DBM plans to replace Presidential plane; solons agreeby Alice Nicart
Borongan City, Eastern Samar, Jan 6 (PIA) –- Amid criticisms of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)plan to replace the 30-year old Presidential plane with a new one, some members of the House of Representatives have expressed otherwise.
Congressman Ben P. Evardone of the Lone District of Eastern Samar said that the plan is a good idea and, in fact, long overdue.
“I think DBM’s plan to purchase a brand new Presidential plane is a good idea, it is even long overdue,” Evardone said. “It will be more cost-effective and most importantly, the safety of our President is not compromised,” he added.
Other congressmen joined Evardone’s assent, they were one in saying that there is nothing wrong in buying a new Presidential plane because the safety of the President must always be ensured; they just have to make sure that the procurement process is transparent.
Early in the news yesterday, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the plane is too old and the President, “cannot be renting planes all the time” and also added that “officials are already wary about taking the old plane.”
The report revealed further that the present Presidential plane was bought in 1979 by the Central Bank of the Philippines to be used by the late former President Ferdinand Marcos. “It was delivered to the Philippines in September 1980. Its ownership was transferred from the Central Bank to the Office of the President on Dec. 26, 1995.”
It report said that the plane, which has a total flying time of 5,525 hours as of March 11, 2011, was eventually donated to the Philippine Air Force in May 2006.
The plane’s last mandatory inspection was a “D” check, also known as a heavy maintenance visit which was done in Indonesia in 2009, the report further said.(PIA-Eastern Samar/Alice Nicart)