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Philippines-Aircraft Shortage Problem Needs To Be Addressed (07 Jan 03)

The Philippine Air Force is suffering from a lack of combat aircraft, having only 100 aircrafts as compared to their 800 pilots. President Arroyo has spoken to Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Nestor Santillan regarding the aircraft shortage and informed him to speed up the programs that the Armed Forces are executing.

The Air Force is undergoing an aircraft recovery program that involves getting spare parts from unusable aircraft to revamp and enhance those currently in use. This program will be financed with the Air force's existing budget. In the event that the budget is not sufficient, the Air Force may ask for a supplementary budget.

The aircraft shortage should cause legislators to acknowledge the urgency of acquiring more aircraft and spare parts.

General Dionisio Santiago, Armed Forces Chief, stated that long-term measures should be undertaken as the aircraft recovery program is only temporary.