Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has endorsed the inclusion in the proposed 2022 national budget the purchase of three brand new C-130J planes by the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Velasco, in a news statement, said he made the endorsement after his meeting with PAF officials led by Commanding General Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes in the House of Representatives last Monday.
The House is currently holding plenary deliberations on the proposed P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022.
“We fully support PAF’s modernization and priority projects for next year, particularly its plan to upgrade its fleet by buying brand new and modern aircrafts,” Velasco said.
It will be recalled that Velasco promised to include the purchase of more military aircraft in the 2022 national budget after a PAF C-130 transport plane crashed in Sulu province last July 4, killing at least 45 people.
The aircraft, carrying troops bound for counter-terrorism operations, crashed with 96 people on board. It had attempted to land at Jolo airport, but overshot the runway and crashed at nearby Patikul town.
Following one of the country’s deadliest military aviation accidents, Velasco vowed to help the PAF replace the lost C-130 plane and to support its efforts to upgrade and modernize its fleet.