Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon proposed to the aviation industry to create a humanitarian air system, as he pushed for Subic to be considered as a cargo or humanitarian hub in Asia.
Sharing his insights on strengthening the role of the aviation industry in humanitarian assistance at the 2023 Aviation Summit, Gordon said: “Speed is the name of the game. When people are suffering, needing all kinds of support, time is of the essence.”
Gordon elaborated that the Philippines can be the cargo or humanitarian hub for Asia to meet the logistical needs of a disaster response, including transporting aid workers. He recommended that Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) be used as a cargo and humanitarian hub not just for the Philippines but for other Asian countries. He believes that SBIA would be an ideal place to preposition goods and facilitate rapid deployment.
Gordon welcomed the aviation industry’s interest in learning how it can have a stronger role in humanitarian response as he shared that at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PRC had to use chartered planes to have the Covid-19 testing equipment and reagents shipped to the Philippines from China.
He added that the PRC had a hard time finding planes that would deliver generators, tents, and other equipment and supplies donated for earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria, through the PRC.
He said that SBIA is not operational at the moment, but it would be a wise decision to reuse it and recoup the country’s investment in building it.
The two-day inaugural summit was co-organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), and the Department of Transportation (DoTR).
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