Marcos wants stronger, bigger PH air force; says it's among his admin's top priorities

Published July 1, 2022, 6:11 PM

by Betheena Unite

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has given a glimpse of his administration’s vision, at least in the country’s defense area.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. receives a memento from the Philippine Air Force during its 75th founding anniversary on July 1, 2022. (Screengrab from RTVM)

During the celebration of the 75th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Pampanga, Marcos said that his administration would move to modernize the country’s aerial and surveillance capability, which, he said, is critical in protecting the country amid territorial disputes and insurgency.

“The ongoing defense modernization effort is in coordination with the basic prerequisites that would complement this administration’s vision for a stronger, bigger, and effective air force, capable of defending and maintaining our sovereign state and of assisting our people in times of dire consequences and today’s reality that this dictates,” he said on Friday, July 1.

In his written message for the Air Force anniversary, Marcos also said that enhancing the Air Force’s capabilities is one of his administration’s top priorities.

In his speech, he elaborated that he wants a more modern aerial and surveillance capability “given the territorial disputes” the Philippines is involved in.

Equipping the PAF with modern facilities like transport aircraft, helicopters, more state-of-the-art fighter planes, and more firepower is crucial for the military’s effort to protect the nation from local insurgency and would provide much-needed help during disasters, Marcos said.

“A more modern aerial and surveillance capability is all the more felt given the territorial disputes that we in the Philippines are involved in. This enhanced capability is also proven to be very critical in the Philippine military’s effort to protect the nation from local communist insurgents and extremist groups in the south,” he said.

“Transport aircraft, helicopters, and the like are important facilities that only PAF can suitably and sufficiently provide, especially during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation. All these are just some of the most fundamental and significant functions that we have come to expect from our Air Force,” he added.

The President highlighted this given the country’s vulnerability in terms of natural disasters.