Malacañang cancels plan to purchase P1.2-B jet

Presidential jet to be bought by the next President!

August 17, 2009

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde announced yesterday that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wants to end the furor over her travel expenses by ordering the cancellation of the planned purchase of a presidential jet that would have cost the government at least P1.2 billion.

“I’m formally announcing that the President has ordered the cancellation of the purchase of the presidential jet. This is the second time that the President has ordered its cancellation even if this has long been recommended by the Presidential Airlift Wing several times,” says Remonde.

“She ordered the cancellation because she doesn’t want her critics to say that she’s prioritizing her own needs,” he added. But actually the new executive jet would not have just benefited Arroyo but also her successors, ensuring their safety and minimizing costs during local and foreign travels, Remonde said.

The Office of the President's (OP) prepared advertisement in the National Papers Thursday last week inviting bids to supply a brand new twin jet with VIP cabin configuration with budget of $25 million.

Had the offer pushed through, the most likely candidate for the Executive jet could have been the Legacy 600 jet manufactured by Embraer of Brazil says its local agent in Manila.

The Embraer jet has been offered to the President for her consideration when she visited Brazil in June this year which then became the basis of the bid proposal.

The Legacy 600 jet which was launch in 2000 carry 16 passengers and has a range of 3250 nautical miles which can easily reach Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney on a single journey and one refueling stop to reach the US west coast, the same specifications intended by the Office of the President. The jet is $5 million cheaper than its nearest comparable competitor aircraft manufactured by Bombardier of Canada.

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