NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said on Tuesday, May 16, that the Provincial Government needs to buy a brand-new aircraft as a necessity, not as a luxury.

“We will use the airplane for emergencies, for cloudseeding operations, disaster patrol. We can even offer it for rent to tourists in the province with the rate leveled with those of private aircrafts. It will be a workhorse for the province or a jeepney on-air,” the governor said.

The province is planning to purchase a six-seater Cessna 206 plane worth P32 million, excluding freight and other expenses.

Marañon said the province may hire a pilot or pay a pilot per hour.

The Provincial Board has approved Supplemental Budget No.2 amounting to P191.2 million, including the P50 million for the purchase of the aircraft.

The governor said the province will ask the approval of the Department of Interior and Local Government for the purchase.

Meanwhile, Marañon said the province also plans to purchase buffaloes from Australia.

He said the delegation from the province which he led were able to taste buffalo meat during their recent official visit to Australia.

“It’s very nutritious with less cholesterol and less fat as proven by medical studies,” Marañon said.

The buffaloes in Australia are high-yield in milk and each produces 12 to 15 liters a day and with good quality of beef. It is hybrid as it is a cross-breed of Italian and Bulgarian buffaloes.

Though bigger than the Philippine carabaos, Australian buffaloes are not ideal for workforce.

A bull costs P76,000 while a pregnant cow or female buffalo costs 3,000 Australian dollars each, excluding freight fees.