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Group of Teachers: Philippine Air Force Helicopters purchase better spent on education, health

Philippine Air Force Helicopters purchase better spent on education, health

Alliance of Concerned Teachers asked President Rodrigo Duterte to give attention on the purchase of 15 Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force despite the pandemic.

“It is verging on immoral to be stocking up on war arsenal while our people reel in health and economic crisis,” said Raymond Basilio, secretary-general of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

“What we need are vaccines, jobs, aid, food and basic social services such as education,” he added.

The Black Hawk helicopters functions include internal and external lift, combat assault, medical evacuation, aerial firefighting, search and rescue, special operations, VIP transport and can also be armed.

“We call out the Duterte government for its grave funding mispriorities. Why is the government squandering the people’s money on senseless wars when our biggest adversary today is the crisis that wreaks havoc on all aspects of our national life?, ” Basilio said.

ACT noted that this most recent purchase of helicopters could cost up to $225 million or P11.25 billion.

This amount “can provide all our one million public school teachers with seven months of P1,500 monthly internet allowance to help facilitate distance learning and avert the learning crisis,” he said.

“We urge the DBM to draw up a supplemental budget for education if the government intends to salvage the millions of youth who are now at risk of dropping out due to the inaccessibility and poor quality of the ill-equipped distance learning,” Basilio said.

“We also demand for the protection of the education frontliners’ welfare through the provision of ample and just benefits.”