Clark Air Base, Pampanga
1 July 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III assured the Philippine Air Force (PAF) that he will double the efforts to complete the modernization program he had initiated as the end of his term draws near during the 68th Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force held at Clark Air Base, Pampanga.

In his message, President Aquino recognized the crucial role that the PAF played to provide speedy assistance during disasters such as the super typhoon Yolanda, the Zamboanga siege and the earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol.

“Tunay po: hindi matatawaran ang tapang at dedikasyon ng ating Hukbong Himpapawid at ng ating buong unipormadong hanay. Gaano man kasalimuot ang sitwasyon, gaano man kadambuhala ang hamon sa inyong harapan, nakahanda kayong itaguyod ang interes at kaligtasan ng sambayanan,” he said.

Indicative of his commitment to improve the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the Modernization Program he had pushed at the onset of his administration — completing 55 projects that toppled 45 combined projects ushered in by the last three administrations.

Under the Modernization Program for the PAF, several aircrafts have been recently acquired which includes three CASA C-295 medium lift transports and two Bell 412 combat utility helicopters. These are on top of the two additional C-295 units, two C-212 light lift transports, and six more Bell 412 helicopters expected to arrive. This December, PAF will also receive the first two 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer jets purchased from Korea which will be used to protect Philippine territory.

In his closing remarks, President Aquino urged the PAF members to continue the reforms his administration had initiated and to campaign for the implementation of the PAF Flight Plan 2028, a 14-year strategic development plan that serves as its transformation roadmap to usher in genuine reforms grounded on good governance and performance excellence by adopting the Performance Governance System (PGS) of the Institute for Solidarity Asia (ISA). This is expected to prompt PAF to establish necessary competencies and mechanisms as the latter integrates the PGS in its system.

Carrying this year’s theme: “Matatag na Bagwis, Dangal ng Bayan, Lakas ng Sambayanan,” the PAF awarded nine PAF units and five personnel that showed exemplary service in their field. The celebration also showcased several PAF aircrafts during the fly-by of PAF air assets and its other vehicles in the pass-in-review capability parade.

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