Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Flight Capability Demonstration of the FA-50PH and Turnover Ceremony of the C295 Medium Lift Aircraft

Event Flight Capability Demonstration of the FA-50PH and Turnover Ceremony
Location Haribon Hangar, Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga

Thank you to our Senior Defense Undersecretary Charlie Galvez. [Oh, please take your seats.]

His Excellency Miguel Utray Delgado, the Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines; the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Andy Centino; the Commanding General of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Stephen Parreño; the officers, men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; my colleagues in government; our partners in the Airbus Defence and Space; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

Since the enactment of Republic Act No. 10349 or the Revised AFP Modernization Program, we have seen the realization of various projects and the acquisition of more modern equipment to fortify our country’s defense systems.

Today, I am glad to be with you as we bear witness to the ceremonial turn-over and blessing of the C295 Medium Lift Aircraft, and the demonstration of the flight capabilities of the FA-50PH.

Let me convey my congratulations and the gratitude to the Philippine Air Force for its successful acquisition of three C295 Medium Lift Aircraft since last year. This attests to the progress of our nation in upgrading our defense capabilities.

Allow me of course to thank the Government of Spain for assisting our Air Force in this acquisition and, consequently, bolstering the defense posture of our country.  This is one of the many meaningful outcomes of the longstanding relationship between our two countries.

Our country’s archipelagic nature and geostrategic location is both a blessing and a challenge. As much as our maritime environment provides us with much needed resources, it also requires us to constantly adapt to become more mobile and agile.

To this end, our FA-50PH Fighter Jets shall improve our maritime patrol capability, aid our Air Force in monitoring the developments within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, and provide close air support to our combat troops.

The country is also challenged by various climate-related hazards, which can potentially paralyze government and business operations.  In these moments, the AFP is called on to do more.

Through the additional C295 aircraft, the AFP will be able to provide more responsive support to government agencies, especially in emergency situations and on humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

While these equipment will boost the readiness of our Air Force to respond to any contingency, there is still a need to further improve our capabilities to effectively cover our territory.

Equally important is to ensure the airworthiness of Air Force assets and the corresponding training of crew and personnel to guarantee the safety of all.

Hence, it is this administration’s will to remain steadfast in pursuing our modernization efforts.

As we accept and bless this new C295 medium airlift, may your passion to defend the country and to serve the Filipino people deepen as we strive to maintain the peace that we have fought so hard to achieve.

And also, with the demonstration of the flight capability of the FA-50PH, we can all look forward to the greater heights that the Philippines will reach in the years to come.

Once again, congratulations. Maraming salamat at mabuhay po tayong lahat! [applause]


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