THE city government of Toledo in Cebu province recently approved an P801,000–budget for the acquisition of a consumer or hobby-grade drone that costs between P50,000 and P60,000 in local and international markets.
A drone is an “autonomous pilotless aircraft or missile” or an “unmanned aerial vehicle.”
An invitation to bid posted on the government website Philippine Government Electronics Procurement System (PhilGEPS), said Toledo City approved the allocation for the Phantom Drone Quadcopter.
The quadcopter is being manufactured by China’s DJI.
It is one of the most popular among hobbyists, professional photographers and videographers all over the world.
The China-based Banggood.com sells the latest DJI version Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H4-3D Gimbal RTF (Ready to Fly) at P42, 071.33, with free shipping to the Philippines.
Gimbal is a device being mounted to a drone or any vehicle to stabilize vibrations or other unexpected movements.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus FPV (First Person View) 5.8G RC Quadcopter with two batteries is priced at P50,158.29, also with free shipping.
In the Philippines, Lowdog Hobby Shop Ortigas, Pasig City (Metro Manila) and Hobby Dynamics in Quezon City (Metro Manila) both sell the Vision 2 plus for P58,000.
The most expensive DJI drone is the Inspire One, which is being sold in the Philippines between P130,000 and P160,000 depending on upgrades.
The Manila Times contacted the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of Toledo through email and asked for more details on the invitation to bid but was told the details are already in the PhilGEPS website.
When asked why P801,000 when the unit only costs only P50,000 to P60,000, the BAC did not respond. . The government took down the website post hours after The Times asked the BAC of Toledo City on the pricing of the drone.