Philippines receives P2-billion jet for government use in crisis situations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2020 06:03 PM

The Philippine government receives the Gulfstream G280 jet from the United States, Sept. 17, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in the US

MANILA— The Philippine government's newly-acquired US-made jet has landed in the Philippines, transporting medical supplies to President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown Davao City for its inaugural flight on Monday.

The Gulfstream G280 jet, which was turned over to the Philippine government on September 17 at the Gulfstream Dallas facility in the US, transported personal protective equipment and medical supplies to Davao after touchdown in the Philippines via Clark in Pampanga, according to the Philippine Air Force.

The jet is a rare addition to the Philippines' limited state air fleet. 

On its maiden mission, the plane carried top government officials namely Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and COVID-19 policy Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

The Air Force said it received the aircraft at the Haribon Hangar, Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga prior to the Davao flight.

Arsenio Andolong, director of the Department of National Defense's Public Affairs Service, previously said the jet would be used "in the event of a crisis situation."

The purchase of the aircraft drew criticism last year for its hefty price tag and despite President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier vow not to procure equipment from Washington.

The aircraft, according to Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, can fly eight hours non-stop, suitable for long-haul flights.