DND eyes Korea, Brazil for military aircraft
The Department of National Defense said Thursday that it is eyeing government-to-government transactions with South Korea and Brazil for the procurement of T-50 advanced jet trainers and Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano turboprop light attack aircraft.
In a phone patch interview with reporters, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that these aircraft are needed to protect Philippine airspace.
The South Korean built T-50 is a supersonic trainer that can also perform in the light-strike role. The Super Tucano is designed for light attack, counter insurgency (COIN), close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions.
Government-to-government, or G2G, transactions are non-commercial interactions between two governments’ organizations, departments, and authorities.
Gazmin made the disclosure amid criticisms from Bayan Muna party list Rep. Teddy Casiño that the use of G2G transactions in the acquisition of military equipment is prone to corruption due to lack of bidding.
Gazmin countered that G2G transactions will eliminate middlemen who benefit from commissions, thereby resulting in cheaper acquisition prices.
Also, Gazmin gave assurances that under the transparency program of the Aquino administration, “all contracts and processes are open to scrutiny by the people.” He said this transparency is being observed in the bidding for similar assets.
“If you are going to go through a third party, there will be commissions and the price will be higher. Now, in government to government (deals), middle men are avoided and at the same time, government officials are accountable in their dealings,” he said.
The DND is also looking to obtain ships and communication equipment from either South Korea, Italy, France, Great Britain or Brazil. These acquisitions are also to be carried out through G2G transactions.
“But nothing is final yet,” said Gazmin. — DVM, GMA News