MANILA --- Japan's official development assistance (ODA) consisting of PHP5-billion worth of UH-IH spare parts and maintenance equipment will ensure more mission-ready "Huey" helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said late Wednesday.
"These spares will insure that many more of our Hueys will fly longer," he said in a message to the PNA when asked about the benefits of the donation from Tokyo.
With more helicopters being made mission-capable by these spares, the defense chief said this will translate to having more assets at hand to help troops aside from boosting the country's disaster management capabilities.
"We can support more troop requirements and we will have more assets to support disaster management," Lorenzana added.
The PAF is known to operate between 20 to 40 assorted models of the "Huey" helicopter.
Japan and the Philippines on Wednesday signed exchange of notes for two ODA projects geared towards rehabilitating the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and enhancing defense.
Included in Tokyo's grant aid for Manila's defense enhancement is 10.68 billion yen (around PHP5-billion) worth of spare parts and maintenance equipment of UH-1H helicopters to the PAF consisting of the following categories: airframe structure; dynamic power system, control system; rotor system; hydraulic system; electrical system; instrument system; accessory equipment; and others.
The UH-1H helicopters are used in the PAF’s activities related to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, transport, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
On the country's mass transport system, Japan's grant aid involves a 38-billion yen (around PHP17.79 billion) loan for the MRT3's complete rehabilitation. (PNA)