PH nears deal on purchase of Korean fighter jets

MANILA - The Department of National Defense (DND) is in the last stages of procuring 12 fighter jets from South Korea worth P18 billion.

Some of the hitches that authorities saw in the transaction can be ironed out by May.

DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said the terms of reference could be finished by next month. The terms of reference contains provisions on the delivery, technical specifications, payment scheme, among others.

“It’s in the final stages of crafting, in preparation for the procurement of the jets…After that (crafting of TOR), the contract follows, the negotiations for the contract (starts)," he said.

DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel Fernando Manalo said issues will need to be clarified before a contract is pursued.

"Within the month of May, the issues may be resolved…(We're hoping) that the issues will be settled within the month of May," said Manalo.

Asked when the contract will finally be signed, he said: "We are following a process.”

The purchase of the fighter jets is part of the military's modernization program.

It is also a signal that the country will finally have a "credible external defense."

The Air Force decommissioned its F-5s in 2005, leaving the country without a legitimate fighter aircraft to address external threats, such as in the West Philippine Sea.



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