The Philippines will be getting five surveillance and patrol aircraft units from Japan for a token fee, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Wednesday.
The aircraft will be used to monitor the country’s maritime territories, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
Originally, the aircraft were leased to Manila but the term of agreement was changed. Under the grant, the Philippine government will pay $7,000 each of the four TC-90 propeller light planes per year and $200 per year for the TC-90 aircraft.
Two planes have been delivered. The rest will be delivered early next year.
In October last year, the DND signed a deal with its Japanese counterpart for the lease of the five surveillance planes.
DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said the five planes will “greatly enhance” the capability of the military in monitoring and search and rescue operations.
The agreement covering the planes was signed during the bilateral talks between President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
“It was one of the results of [the government’s]bilateral talks with Japan,” Andolong told reporters.
He said Japan has been “really generous” in offering assistance to the Philippines.
The Defense department plans to use the planes in monitoring the West Philippine Sea.