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MANILA, Philippines – The procurement of Multi-Role Fighter aircraft (MRF) for the Philippine Air Force has met some potholes and barriers after leftist lawmakers have blocked the transfer of funds for the Armed Forces Modernization Program.

Senators Enrile, Legarda and Sotto slashed Php8 billion from the Department of Social Welfare and Development -DSWD’s 2016 CCT budget, added Php2 billion for a total P10 billion specific allocation for the Philippine Air Force so it can buy at least 4 Multi-Role Fighters aircraft (MRF).

But unfortunately, the Bicameral Budget Committee was compelled to give back the funds to the original owner, because the House Appropriations Committee led by Davao City representative Isidro Ungab, with the leftist party lists(Bayan Muna, Gabriela, ACT Teachers, Kabataan Partylist) and obviously DSWD Secretary Soliman raised such unneeded fighter aircraft. Leaving the PAF with just over a billion pesos extra.

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After the effective and successful delivery of the first batch of South Korean made FA-50. The Philippine Air Force on its part has been looking at the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen for its MRF program.

The Php10 billion funds could have purchased 4 units of Swedish JAS-39 Gripen, thought to be one of the best Multi-Role Fighter Jet in the international arms market. - Jason E.

Also, read this: Philippines Next Fighter Jets – Jas 39 Gripen