US donates C-130 transport plane to AFP amid Pres. Duterte's demand for payment of VFA continuation

US donates C-130 transport plane to AFP amid Pres. Duterte's demand for payment of VFA continuation


The United States of America (USA) has just turned over a new military transport aircraft critically needed by a modernizing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

This a week after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte suggested that the country’s mutual defense ally pay for the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the country.

The C-130 plane is a welcome sight as the country needs every material that would help in their carrying out their mandate.

(photo credit to owner)

The turned over ceremony was attended by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, US Ambassador to the Philippines John Law, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

"As our country is prone to natural calamities due to its location and topography, it is imperative for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to boost its capability to perform humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations all the time. For these reasons, I am quite sure that this C130-H aircraft will be fully and frequently utilized soonest," Lorenzana said in his speech 

The C-130 would be a big boost to the country’s heavy airlift capabilities in the areas of troop movement both for external and internal operations.

It was acquired through a grant from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, according to DND.

It is the first of two C-130 Hercules aircraft — which cost P2.5 billion — that will be acquired by the Philippines. Of the P2.5 billion, Manila will only pay P1.6 billion and the rest will be covered by Washington.

"Indeed, this gesture of generosity and goodwill further cements the time-tested alliance and deep friendship of our two countries," Lorenzana said.

The US embassy in a separate statement said the newly transferred transport aircraft can carry a maximum of 19,000 kilograms, and has a flying range of some 1,900 meters. 

"The C-130 is a proven aircraft and demonstrated its reach and capability to deliver COVID-19 supplies across the country over the past year. We hope this additional aircraft will continue to be a steady workhorse for the Philippine Air Force," said Ambassador Law. 



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