• PNP eyes aircraft for disaster relief operations


    THE Philippine National Police (PNP) broached over the weekend their plan to buy more equipment and air assets that could be used during calamity and disaster situations, which are common occurrences in the country.

    PNP chief, Dir. Gen. Alan Pursima said the acquisition of more equipment and air assets would boost the police capabilities to respond and conduct disaster relief operations in calamity-stricken areas.

    “The PNP has no aircraft and so we will be recommending that we have an airlift capability so that we can address [and act]immediately in similar situation,” Purisima told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Crame.

    In the PNP list of equipment and assets to be acquired were helicopters, fixed-wing aircrafts, mobile and patrol vehicles and some military type vehicles that can be used on rough and rugged terrain.

    “We are expecting the equip-ment to be used in our disaster efforts, like what we need here is military type of vehicles . . .  those can be used in mountains or used in areas with no [prepared]roads,” Purisima said.

    The PNP chief has cited for example the situation in Tacloban City, Leyte province that was heavily devastated by super  typhoon Yolanda early last month where police had diffi-culty in responding.

    “When Tacloban City was hit . . .  we cannot come in immediately and what we need there was aircraft, so we will be recommending that,” Purisima said.

    The PNP chief said that police has no air capability—their last flyable helicopters crashed in the Cordilleras while the three helicopters cannot be used and are stowed in their hangars.

    “Our proposal is with the logistics and we are trying to have fixed wing and rotary wing and also even some water assets,” Purisima said.


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