Japan to donate five patrol planes to PH
Japan is donating five Beechcraft TC-90 patrol planes to the Philippines in a bid to help patrol its coasts.
“They signed the agreement during the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit], hindi ko alam kung (I don’t know) what day but it was one of the results of their bilateral [talks] with Japan,” Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Wednesday.
Japan had originally agreed to lease the five planes for maritime patrols. Two of the planes are already being leased. The rest are expected to arrive by the first quarter of 2018.
Before the formal donation, the Philippines initially agreed to pay $7,000 for each aircraft per year and $200 for the fifth aircraft.
“We welcome the gesture of Japan and the addition of these five aircraft to our inventory will greatly enhance our capability to monitor and conduct search and rescue within our territory,” Andolong said.
The first two planes that arrived last March are already being used by the Philippine Navy for its maritime surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
An amendment in Japanese law finally allowed the donation, as it was previously prohibited to them to make a donation of equipment to foreign countries. /je