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Metrojet Begins Construction Of FBO/MRO Complex In The Philippines

March 2019

Hong Kong based business jet operator, Metrojet, commenced the construction of a 26,000 square meter aviation parking and maintenance facility in the Philippines. The USD 25 million facility is located in Clark, Pampanga and is expected to be operational by 2020. It will have 11,000 square meter of taxiway and parking ramp for aircraft parking, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) and FBO (fixed-base operator) services, 7,100 square meter of floor space that can accommodate a maximum of 10 long range business jets (Boeing Business Jet or Airbus Corporate Jet), and 2,500 square meter for customer accommodation and storage, engineering support workshops, and materials warehousing.

Metrojet has secured a 50-year contract lease and noted that the location, relative to its area of operation, Clark’s freedom of operation and freeport zones, and the support from government are the main factors behind choosing the location of investment. Singapore-based Aircraft Support Industries (ASI) will construct the facility while another Singapore firm, MERx Construction Management Pte. Ltd., will be responsbile for the design and build of the project

(Source: BusinessWorld; AIN Online; AviationPros)

Japan's ANA Holdings Purchases Stake In Philippine Flag Carrier

February 2019

ANA HOLDINGS INC. (ANA HD), parent of All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's largest airline, will invest USD 95 Million in PAL Holdings Inc. (PAL Holdings) and acquire 9.5% of PAL Holding’s outstanding shares. PAL Holdings is the parent of Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL), the Philippine flag carrier and the largest airline in the Philippines. ANA HD will acquire the shares from Trustmark Holdings Corporation, which is owned by the Lucio Tan family and is the largest shareholder of PAL Holdings.

PAL has embarked on a full-scale expansion program that has seen its fleet and network grow to almost 100 aircraft and 80 destinations in four continents. PAL is also laying emphasis on product transformation that saw PAL recognized recently as the World’s Most Improved Airline for 2019.

In line with the Mid-Term Corporate Strategy for FY2018-2022, the ANA Group is expanding its international group network, which is considered its main growth pillar, and strengthening its partnerships with foreign airlines to provide further convenience to its passengers.

Philippine Airlines currently operates 84 flights weekly on 9 routes to Japan and ANA operates 14 flights weekly on 2 routes to the Philippines. The two carriers have codeshare operations on Japan - Philippine routes and domestic routes within Japan and the Philippines, linking a total of 16 Japanese and 11 Philippine destinations.

Completion of the investment is subject to certain closing conditions.

(Source: Philippine Airlines Inc.)

Philippines Legislature Passes Bill Creating Space Agency

January 2019

In December 2018, the Philippines House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 8541, or the Philippine Space Development Act, designed to help beef up the country’s development of space technologies, applications and a more secure and independent space access.

The bill aims to create a central government agency called Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) which will be under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST). According to the explanatory note of the bill going to the Senate, the PhilSA will be responsible for developing space science technology policies, implementing research and education programs, and establishing industry linkages between private and public sector stakeholders. It will also be the Philippines’ representation for international space agreements and arbitrations.

PhilSA’s headquarter will be housed on 30 hectare of land, which are under the administration of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority within the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac.

The bill also requires establishing a Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy (PSDUP), a roadmap that would enable the country to be a globally capable nation on space front.

(Source: Philippine News Agency; Manila Bulletin)

Philippine Government Agency Partners With Korean Armor Company

November 2018

Ranking officials of the Government Arsenal (GA) and South Korean corporation SAMYANG Comtech Co. Ltd signed an implementing arrangement for the Force Protection Equipment (FPE) co-production agreement Tuesday.

GA is a government agency under the Department of National Defense responsible for the production of basic weaponry and ammunition for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. 

The FPE co-production agreement was crafted on July 4, 2017 with technology transfer as a vehicle towards the local manufacture of force protection equipment in the Philippines. Both parties have agreed on the terms and conditions, which are anchored on the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust between GA and SAMYANG.

The South Korean firm will establish FPE manufacturing and testing facilities in the GA complex, and eventually transfer to the Government Arsenal the technology needed in the production and testing of armor vests and ballistic helmets. This technology, which is equivalent to the quality of South Korea’s Army FPE, is needed by the GA to develop the capability for the in-country production of FPE to support the requirements of the AFP and other law enforcement agencies, in line with the FPE Acquisition Program of the Philippines.

(Source: Philippine News Agency; Department of National Defense)

Korea’s Arms Company Partners With Philippine Rifle Manufacturer

October 2018

Korea’s largest arms maker has partnered with the top rifle manufacturer in the Philippines, United Defense Manufacturing Corporation (UDMC), as part of the South Korea-Philippines defense cooperation. The objective of the deal is to produce for the Philippine military and police force arms that are of “high quality, accuracy and price-competitiveness with the vision of eventually expanding to other markets in the long-term”.

The Korean Ministry of National Defense and S&T Motiv presented their line of defense technology products to President Rodrigo Duterte during his official visit to South Korea last June. S&T and UDMC were also exhibitors at the “Asian Defense, Security & Crisis Management Exhibition and Conference 2018” (ADAS 2018), a defense trade show at the World Trade Center where they showcase their combined strength in research and development to meet the demands of the military and law enforcement modernization program of the country.

UDMC is a Philippine-based company dedicated to the development, manufacture and distribution of assault and precision rifles and is known particularly for their 5.56 and 7.62 NATO standard rifles used by the military and law enforcers. The company has provided locally-manufactured weapons to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Presidential Security Guard (PSG).

(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Manila Bulletin)


“Super Consortium” of Philippine Top Conglomerates Progresses Towards NAIA Redevelopment

September 2018

Philippine’s biggest conglomerates Metro Pacific Corp, Aboitiz Group, Ayala Inc, Alliance Global Group, Emerging Dragon Corp, Filinvest Development Corp and JG Summit have formed a consortium that plans to redevelop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. The consortium submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) last February 12, 2018, seeking to transform NAIA into a regional airport hub and expanding its capacity to meet the anticipated growth in passenger traffic from the strong economies of the Philippines and the region.

DOTr and MIAA have granted Original Proponent Status (OPS) to the “NAIA Consortium” for its proposal to rehabilitate, upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for 15 years, brought down from the originally proposed concession period of 35 years. This OPS is the first step in the NAIA receiving an upgrade to improve the passenger experience for Manila’s international gateway airport. The proposal will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge, where the government will invite other players to make bids..

The PHP 102 Billion (USD 1.8 billion) proposal involves expanding and interconnecting the existing terminals of NAIA, upgrading airside facilities, developing commercial facilities to increase airline and airport efficiencies, enhancing passenger comfort and experience, and elevating the status of NAIA as the country's premier international gateway. According to the proposal, these improvements will be implemented with minimal disruption to ongoing airport operations.

The NAIA project supports the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program with its plan to develop NAIA into a world-class facility and a regional air transport hub by upgrading its airside, landside, and air navigation support—building on the gains already achieved by the DOTr in terms of improving the traffic of aircraft movements on its runways.

(Sources: Metro Pacific; The Philippine Star) 

Philippine Navy Prepares To Acquire Submarines

August 2018

The Philippine Navy (PN) is now conducting market research and doctrine studies on how to fully utilize the submarines it is planning to acquire as part of the efforts to modernize its fleet.

The acquisition of the country's first submarines will be brought forward to Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP). The procurement of the naval craft was earlier scheduled for Horizon Three, which is expected to run from 2023 to 2028, while Horizon Two is scheduled from 2018 to 2022.The budget for the program is roughly placed at PHP 300 billion (USD 5.6 billion).

Horizon One lasted from 2013 to 2017 and resulted in the acquisition of the three Del Pilar-class frigates, 12 FA-50PH light-lift interim jet fighters, two strategic sealift vessels, to name a few.

The PN fully supports all proposals that would allow the country to acquire its first diesel-electric submarines at the soonest possible time. Undersea or submarine warfare is a critical area in naval warfare today, as it is very difficult to fight an opponent that cannot be seen or detected due to its ability to go underwater.

In line with this project, the PN has already created a Submarine Group, which is now sending Navy personnel for study and training on submarine operations in preparation for the country's eventual acquisition of submarines. The submarine acquisition, including training, support facilities, and the vessel, often takes seven to 10 years.

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

Philippines Allocates USD 2.6 Billion For Military Upgrade

July 2018

The Philippines, under the Duterte administration, will earmark PHP 140 billion (USD 2.6 billion) to enhance the capabilities of its military next year. The amount is higher by 7.5 percent than the PHP 130.6 billion (USD 2.4 billion) allotted for the military upgrade program this year. This is part of a 5-year plan to spend PHP 300 billion (USD 5.6 billion) to modernize the outdated military.

Of the amount, PHP 25 billion (USD 469.3 million) will be allocated to the Armed Forced of the Philippines modernization program to fund the purchase of armaments, surveillance, mobility and communications equipment. 

PHP 3.1 billion (USD 58.2 million) will also be allocated to support the Coast Guard’s modernization program to upgrade their capabilities to cover the country’s territorial waters and coastlines. The Philippines is focusing on unmanned aerial vehicles, long-range patrol aircraft, offshore patrol ships and an electric-diesel submarine to boost defense capabilities.

PHP 922 million (USD 17.3 million) will be used to buy firearms and service weapons, a helicopter and a watercraft. 

The Philippine military is determined in preventing another Islamic State-inspired insurgency after rebels seized Marawi, the country’s only Islamic city, for five months last year. Furthermore, the Philippines is also facing challenges in South China Sea, a strategic waterway most of which is claimed by China, which has built military outposts there.

(Sources: The Philippine Star; Reuters)

New Terminal Raises Cebu Airport's Capacity To 12.5 Million Passengers

June 2018

The second terminal of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Philippines has been inaugurated and it will start operations from July 1. The new terminal is expected to ease congestion in the Philippines’ second busiest airport and increase the airport’s annual capacity to 12.5 million passengers from the current 4.5 million. The airport expansion was made to accommodate the increasing passenger demand,  to open-up the Cebu city to more international flights and to spur more economic activity in Cebu and the Visayas region of the country. 

The new terminal covering 65,500 sqm. will dedicated to international flights and will offer passengers various retail options as it has approximately 3,000 sqm. gross leasable area for commercial and retail space. It will also have 48 check-in counters, that are expandable to 72, as well as provision for 7 passenger boarding bridges that could be expanded to 12 boarding bridges serving wide and narrow body aircraft.

In 2014, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), a joint venture of Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd. and Megawide Construction Corp, won the contract for the project and the concession to operate and maintain MCIA for 25 years. Hong Kong-based Integrated Design Associates was tapped to give resort-inspired elements to the new terminal while British firm SSP Group will manage the terminal’s food and beverage segment.

At present, GMCAC is proposing to construct a second runway for MCIA, but this is still up for review by the Department of Transportation.

(Sources: The Philippines Star; BusinessWorld Online; Philippines News Agency)

AirAsia To Develop New Hubs In The Philippines

May 2018

The Philippine unit of AirAsia, the largest discount carrier in South East Asia, is planning to develop more low-cost carrier hubs in the Philippines as the company plans to expand its fleet to 70 planes by 2032. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), located in Manila, could no longer provide adequate space AirAsia needs for its fleet expansion as NAIA is also a hub of other local airlines namely Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

As a result, AirAsia will develop hubs in the cities of Clark, Bohol and Puerto Princesa.

State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is mandated to transform former US military bases into alternative productive civilian use, is developing New Clark City as a smart, green, disaster-resilient city. Clark is about 3 hours away from Manila by land, while Bohol and Puerto Princesa are among the country’s top tourist destinations.

This is also in line with AirAsia’s plans to expand its reach and develop other tourist destinations in the country by improving connectivity to them. Recently, top tourist spot Boracay was shut down by the government due to degradation concerns and is going through a period of rehabilitation.

(Source: BusinessWorld)

San Miguel Proposes To Build An Aerotropolis In Bulacan

April 2018

The National Economic Development Authority’s Investment Council (NEDA-ICC) has approved the proposal of Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp to build a PHP 700 billion (USD 13.4 billion) airport that will be in Bulacan. This project is one of the nine infrastructure projects valued at PHP 900 billion (USD 17.2 billion) that is up for President Duterte’s approval.

San Miguel’s project proposal for the new international aerotropolis includes the construction of a 1,168 airport and a 2,500-hectare city complex that is expected to be completed in six years after approval. The airport would have six parallel runways and an initial capacity of 100 million passengers or over three times that of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Once approved, the Bulacan airport will undergo a Swiss challenge system wherein third parties can submit competing offers while the original proponent will be given the right to match these offers.

Experts have agreed that a new airport serving Manila and its vicinity is needed given that NAIA is already operating beyond it design capacity.

(Sources: The Philippine Star; Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Philippines Targets Business Aviation

March 2018

The Philippine government is targeting business aviation as a potential driver of growth for the economy. In addition, the government is also promoting the use of Clark International Airport to the business aviation sector as an alternative to Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). 

Currently, business aviation is allotted only two slots per hour between 6 a.m. and noon, after which they are banned until 7 p.m. There are no slot limits between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. There are also no expansion plans in place, creating uncertainty about the future of business aviation at NAIA.

An alternative to solve this issue is to develop business aviation outside of Manila. Clark International Airport, a former U.S. military base, is being further developed to support the business aviation sector in the country. At present, Clark Airport has a healthy ecosystem, with business aviation companies such as Metrojet and INAEC setting up there to exploit its vast infrastructure and access to international and domestic networks. Unlike Manila, Clark has plenty of real estate for expansion and envisions eventually operating three terminals handling 80 million passengers and cargo facilities, even adding a third parallel runway.The Duterte administration wants to increase capacity at Clark Airport, which it sees as a viable alternative to NAIA.

The Philippines also has potential to become a center for business aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul not only because of the growing demand for this service in the country, but also due to a deep and skilled labor pool that can speak English.

(Source: Aviation Week Network)

Philippine Aviation Operator Looks To Expand Fleet

February 2018

Philippine private aircraft charter business Philjets is looking to expand its fleet of aircraft, particularly twin-engine units, to 22 over the next two to three years as business aviation has been growing in the Philippines. The company recently acquired brand-new H130 helicopters that will increase its capabilities to further develop its chartering, heli-tours and VIP transport services.

Philjets, the largest operator of Airbus Helicopters in the country, recently attended the Singapore Airshow looking to conclude some acquisitions and partnerships during the event, as it is a great platform for Asian operators, OEMs, and industry players. 

(Sources: The Manila Times; Manila Bulletin)

AFP Modernization Program In Full Swing

January 2018

The modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is gaining momentum as contracts for new aircraft, weapons and platforms are signed or delivered. In particular, the AFP has chosen the  A-29 “Super Tuscano” light attack aircraft by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer Defense and Security to replace/complement the Philippine Air Force’s Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” turboprop attack planes in close-air support missions specially in counterinsurgency. 

The Department of National Defense and AFP are now in process of finalizing the wish list for the Second Horizon of the AFP modernization program that will start in 2018, and run until 2022, while Horizon Three will commence in 2023 and run to 2028. The last two phases involves strengthening of AFP’s external defense capabilities and include the acquisition of multi-role fighters, missile batteries, diesel electric submarines and more modern detection and surveillance systems.


Bombardier Provides Component Management Support For Philippine Airlines

January 2018

Canadian planes and trains manufacturer Bombardier announced that Air Philippines Corporation, the operator of Philippine Airlines affiliate airline PAL Express, has signed an eight-year Smart Parts Agreement to provide component management for the airline’s 12 new, dual-class Q400 aircrafts. The agreement also involves comprehensive component Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services, access to a strategically located spare parts exchange pool, and on-site inventories based at the airline’s main hubs of operation in the Philippines.

PAL Express chose Bombardier’s Smart Parts Program to support its component management requirements which will enable the company to focus on passenger service for short, inter-island routes and to increase jet cabin comfort on a turboprop aircraft. Philippine Airlines signed a firm order for five Q400 aircraft in December 2016 and exercised its purchase rights for another seven turboprops during the 2017 Paris International Air Show.

(Source: Bombardier)

Philippine Government To Acquire 23 Attack Helicopters

January 2018

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking to acquire new armaments and 23 attack helicopters from 2018, to boost the military’s capability in fighting terrorism and rebellion. The Philippines hardest hit by political violence in the region. According to Asian Correspondent, the country suffered 3,118 terrorist attacks between 2002 and 2016, which resulted in the deaths of some 2,453 people. More than 900 of these attacks were undertaken by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has markedly stepped up its activities since 2012.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who has beenpersistent in expressing his desire to strengthen and modernize the country’s armed forces, said that his security officials will be looking into the acquisition of the military equipment, and reiterated his vow not to purchase any secondhand equipment. The government will be acquiring these through soft loans which may be paid in up to 25 years.

(Sources: Asian Correspondent; Philippine Daily Inquirer; Sunstar Manila; ABS CBN News)

Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast Project In Palawan

December 2017

The Philippine and Singapore governments have inaugurated the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) in Palawan this month. The project is a result of a collaboration between the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). CAAS signed an Automatic Dependent SurveillanceBroadcast (ADS-B) data-sharing and Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communication facilities access collaboration agreement with the CAAP in October 2015. This expands CAAS’ network of ADS-B data-sharing and VHF radio communication facilities collaborations with neighbouring air navigation service providers (ANSPs). It allows the further expansion of surveillance and ground-to-air communications coverage, enhancing the safety and efficiency of air traffic.

ADS-B technology can identify an aircraft’s position through satellite navigation and even track it via periodic broadcasting. An aircraft with ADS-B can broadcast useful information such as its identities, positions, altitudes, and velocities twice every second. These details will help air traffic controllers to monitor and control air traffic even emergency responders for search and rescue operations.

(Sources: CAAS; Philippine Department of Transportation; Philippine Information Agency; Business World)

Philippines' New Air Assets For Maritime Security

November 2017

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) has announced that Japan is donating five surveillance and patrol aircraft to the country, which includes four TC-90 propeller light planes and a TC-90 aircraft. Originally, the aircraft were leased to Manila but the terms of agreement have changed. The air assets can be used to patrol and guard the country’s maritime and territorial domain over the hotly disputed South China Sea.

In 2017, the Philippines budgeted  PHP137.2 billion (USD 2.76 billion) for defense, which represents an 18% increase compared to 2016. The second horizon of the Philippine military modernization plan is coming up in 2018.  With a record breaking new defence budget and growing regional threats, the Philippines Coast Guard and Navy's agenda are assets that will enhance the capability of the military in monitoring as well as search and rescue operations. 

(Sources: Sunstar Manila; CNN Philippines; Maritime Security & Coastal Surveillance Philippines)

PH Coast Guard Welcomes Multi-Response Vessel From Japan

October 2017

The Philippine Coast Guard welcomed the arrival of MRRV 4407 - SINDANGAN, the sixth Philippine Coast Guard Multi-Role Response Vessel delivered by the Japan Marine United Corporation (JMUC) Yokohama shipyard. BRP Sindangan, as it is to be called, is the sixth of the ten 44-meter multi-role response vessels with assigned bow number 4407 that was built by the JMUC. Named after the Sindangan Lighthouse located in Sindangan, Zamboanga Del Norte, the ship will be an additional floating asset to be utilized by the Philippine Coast Guard designed for the conduct of environmental and humanitarian missions, as well as maritime security operations and patrol missions.

BRP Sindangan was also designed with a bulletproof navigation bridge, fire monitors, night vision capability, a work boat, and radio direction finder capability. It is also equipped with communications and radio monitoring equipment from Rohde & Schwarz, specifically the M3SR Series 4400 and Series 4100 software-defined communication radios, and DDF205 radio monitoring equipment that would enhance the ship's reconnaissance, pursuit and communications capabilities. 

(Source: Philippine Coast Guard)

Tender for Multipurpose Attack Craft Vessels

September 2017

The Philippines Department of National Defence (DND) has issued a tender to procure additional multipurpose attack craft (MPAC) vessels for the Philippine Navy (PN). The invitation to bid document, which calls on bidders to submit proposals by the end of September, outlines the acquisition of three MPACs from indigenous sources. The programme is valued at PHP 270 million (USD5.3 million) but does not include mission systems, weapons, and ammunition, which will be procured separately. Successful MPAC bidders should have completed a similar project within the past 15 years, states the tender. It adds that bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens, partnerships, or organisations with at least 60% interest owned by Filipino nationals.

(Source: IHS Jane's)

USD 13.7 Billion Bulacan Airport Feasible

September 2017

A proposed USD 13.7 billion international airport facility in Bulacan was found feasible by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The agency, in coordination with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is currently reviewing the project in order to determine how it will be classified, whether it is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project or give the proponent an original proponent status.

The project with at least four runways and a city complex was proposed by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) that will sit on 2,500 hectares of land in Bulacan near Manila Bay area. SMC anticipated to complete the construction of new international airport in six years once it secured the government approval. The proposal is actually a revision from its 2014 USD 10 billion airport proposal on a reclaimed part of Manila Bay in the southern part of the metropolis.

(Sources: Manila Standard; Malaya Business Insight)

Government Earmarks PHP10 Billion To Modernize Airports

August 2017

The Philippine government announced that it is allocating the USD 198.2 million from USD 73.9 billion of 2018 national budget or the General Appropriation Act for 2018 for the modernization of the country’s aviation infrastructure. At least 40 airports across the country will be upgraded and among these, Clark International Airport is set to receive the highest funding amounting to USD 53.8 million. Being a diversion airport when Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is temporarily shut down for emergency repairs, the main objectives for Clark International Airport is to operate at night and extend its two runways to 5,000 meters each from the existing 3,200 meters.

Besides Clark, other airports set to receive new infrastructure development funds are those in Kalibo, which will get USD 18.1 million; Bicol, USD 17.7 million; Tacloban, USD 14.1 million; Bukidnon, USD 8.3 million; Panglao (Bohol), USD 7.6 million; Laoag, USD 7.2 million; Cauayan (Isabela) Airport, USD 6.0 million; Dumaguete, USD 5.9 million; Calbayog, USD 4.8 million; Zamboanga City, USD 4.3 million; San Jose Airport (Camarines Sur), USD 3.9 million; Surigao City, USD 3.9 million; Ozamiz Airport, USD 3.8 million; Butuan City, USD 3.6 million; Dipolog City, USD 3.6 million; Roxas City, USD 3.3 million; Cotabato City, USD 3.2 million; Basco (Batanes), USD 2.8 million; Ormoc City, USD 2.5 million; Maasin (Leyte), USD 2.4 million; Antique, USD 2.2 million; Sanga-Sanga (Tawi-Tawi), USD 2.0 million; Pagadian, USD 1.7 million; Tuguegarao, USD 1.2 million; San Vicente (Palawan), USD 0.98 million; and Virac, USD 0.98 million.

There are also 13 other smaller airports would get a combined USD 5.2 million, or an average of USD 0.40 million each.

(Sources: Philstar; Manila Bulletin)

Philippine Navy To Acquire New Speedboats

July 2017

The Department of Budget and Management has provided PHP 600 million to the Philippine Navy for the purchase of new sets of speed boats as part of the intensified surveillance and patrol actions along the southern sea borders of the country. Philippine is planning to procure around 20 to 30 speedboats to be utilized by the marines and naval special operations group. The Philippine Navy is still improving the country's maritime surveillance as there is a wide scope of maritime area in the southern sea border. Several littoral monitoring stations, he added, were already completely established in the islands surrounding the southern Philippines. These stations are equipped with radars that detect incoming watercrafts outside the borders. This month, the Philippines Navy received the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) from the US, which is a low-level airborne ground surveillance system that uses aerostat as radar platform.

(Sources: The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin)

PAL To Spend USD 80 Million For Airbus Reconfiguration

June 2017

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) is spending US$ 80 million (P3.96 billion) to reconfigure eight of its Airbus A330s to cater to the growing demand for premium- and business-class flight services.

For the reconfiguration, PAL chose the Thompson Vantage XL brand for the 18 business class seats with a legroom of 44 inches, width of 23 to 24 inches and a full-flat recline with a bed length of 78 inches. The Zodiac 5810 brand was selected for the 24-premium economy-class seats with a legroom of 38 inches, width of 19 inches and a recline of 8 inches, while the Economy Zodiac brand was chosen for the 267 economy seats with a legroom of 32 inches, width of 17 inches and recline of 6 inches. An added feature on business class is the installation of the Pneumatic Comfort System (PCS), which allows the passenger to adjust seat firmness according to preference, complimented with the massage function. PAL is the first Asian carrier to offer the PCS. In addition, RAVE’s Audio-Video-On-Demand (AVOD) in-seat system will give passengers access to a wide selection of media content via touch-screen monitors.

The reconfiguration is part of the company’s goal to become a four-star airline this year and achieve five-star by 2020.

(Sources: Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Business World)

Glock Inc To Supply Pistols To The Philippine National Police

May 2017

Global firearms manufacturer, Glock Inc, through its Asia Pacific unit, has won a bid to supply the Philippine National Police with GLOCK 17 Gen4 pistols. Glock won this solicitation against competition from Sig Sauer and a local manufacturer.

The endurance tests performed for these pistols were some of the toughest in the world: 20,000 rounds of ammunition had to be successfully fired through a single pistol, without any failures or stoppages, and without having to change any parts. The GLOCK 17 Gen4 successfully passed this testing twice, with two different pistols.  In the interest of full transparency of the entire solicitation process, all tests were performed in public. 

Based on a report by the country’s Commission on Audit, around 11% of the country’s policemen do not have hand guns. The PNP has responded by programming a total of 10,000 units of short firearms annually to attain the 100% fill-up to be issued to newly recruited personnel.

(Sources: Glock, The Philippine Star)

Cebu Pacific Orders 7 A321CCEO Planes For USD 812 Million

April 2017

Cebu Pacific has placed an order with Airbus for an additional seven A321CEO (Current Engine Option) aircraft, for delivery from March 2018. The aircraft will meet the airline's increased capacity requirements pending the start of delivery of 32 A321neo aircraft, which will now begin in the 4th quarter of 2018. Cebu Pacific has chosen to defer the A321neo deliveries due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney engines selected to power the aircraft. The seven Airbus A321CEO planes have a total value of US$ 812 million, based on current list prices and will be on top of the existing order of the 32 Airbus A321NEO aircraft.

The purchase will enable Cebu Pacific to increase capacity on popular routes, while at the same time benefiting from the lowest operating costs in this size category. Cebu Pacific announced that it will also be able to respond to the growing demand with the highest levels of efficiency.

The fleet of Cebu Pacific is comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and five ATR 72-600 aircraft. The airline flies to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, operating over 100 routes spanning across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.

(Sources: Cebu Pacific, Manila Bulletin)

CebuPac Taps Air France Industries KLM For Aircraft Maintenance

March 2017

Philippines budget carrier Cebu Pacific Philippines has tapped Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) for the maintenance of its Airbus A320 and A321neo aircrafts. The long–term contract covers a fleet of over 40 Airbus A320s, and encompasses full component support and solutions, including repairs and local pool access to maximize aircraft availability, for both its A320 and its future A321neo airplanes.

Cebu Pacific currently has a fleet of 59 aircraft, comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320ceo, seven Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and four ATR 72-600 aircraft. From this year until 2021, the group expects to take 12 ATR 72-600 aircraft, one brand-new Airbus A330, and 32 Airbus A321neos.

The selection of AFI KLM E&M came following a call for tenders by Cebu Pacific in September 2016 for the carrier’s expanding fleet of Airbus passenger jets. The deal will enable AFI KLM E&M to support Cebu Pacific, one of the most successful low-cost carriers in a fast-growing market.

(Sources: Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin)

US Military Delivers Counter-terrorism Equipment To Philippine Army, Marine Corps

February 2017

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) recently delivered new military equipment to the Philippine Army and Marine Corps. The equipment included more than 400 M203 40mm grenade launchers, 85 M40A5 7.62 mm sniper rifles and an AeroVironment RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial (UAV) system.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) procured the small-arms weapons through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The equipment will help enhance their counter-terrorism capabilities, and protect Philippine security forces actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in southern Philippines.

In addition to the three unmanned aerial vehicles included in the Raven system, Philippine service members received training in the U.S. on its operations and maintenance. The Raven is a hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle that will increase the AFP’s capabilities to conduct intelligence collection, mission planning, and reconnaissance operations.

(Sources: Manila Bulletin,

PTT Inks New Fuel Supply Deal With Cebu Pacific

January 2017

PTT Philippines and the country’s largest budget carrier Cebu Pacific have sealed a petroleum supply deal, with the Thai-owned oil firm committing to deliver the bulk of the airline’s aviation fuel requirements for the year.

The contract involves the supply of 1,680,000 US barrels or 267 million liters of aviation fuel. PTT Philippines has been supplying jet fuel to Cebu Air for over 10 years and currently accounts most of the airline’s total jet fuel requirements especially for their flights using the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Diosdado Macapagal Airport (Clark), and the Visayas routes.

Cebu Pacific breached the 19-million passenger mark last year as it ramped up operations mainly in key domestic and international markets. The company said it had flown 19.1 million passengers in 2016, up 4 percent from year-ago level.  Flights were 86% full for the whole-year average. Cebu Pacific said growth in passenger volume was largely driven by the airline’s low-cost short-haul services and increased frequencies in key domestic markets. It said the former recorded a 9.3% growth compared to 2015, while the latter reflected a 2.6% increase.

(Sources: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World)

Indonesian Aerospace Ready To Deliver Two NC212i Transport Aircraft To The Philippines

December 2016

Indonesian Aerospace (IAe), also known as Dirgantara Indonesia, has completed the production of two NC212i tactical transport aircraft due for delivery to the Philippines Air Force (PAF) in 2017.

The Philippines contracted the Indonesia Aerospace to build two 2 light lift fixed-wing aircraft after it won the bidding in January 2014. The purchasing contract for the two 2 NC212i aircraft, including their spare parts, was revealed to be worth US$ 19 million.

The NC212i aircraft can be used strategically for producing artificial rain, maritime patrol and coast guard patrol. It can also be utilized for the following missions: passenger and troop transport, cargo/logistic transport, anti-smuggling control, immigration control, search and rescue, paratroop dropping, and medical evacuation.

The acquisition of the NC212i is part of the PAF’s Modernization Program aimed at enhancing the PAF’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) and security efforts.

(Sources: Philippine Air Force, FlightGlobal)