Published On: Wed, May 1st, 2013

Philippine Navy buys 2 brand-new frigates


MANILA, Philippines — THE Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) is discarding its earlier plan to acquire used ships and is now planning to buy two brand-new frigates to boost the Navy’s security capabilities.

DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo says acquiring second-hand ships would be more costly in the long run as these would require repairs and upgrades.

Now that it has the resources, we will buy new ships, says Manalo.

About P18 billion would be spent to buy the two brand new frigates. The government previously allotted P12 billion to buy two used frigates.

The DND is fast-tracking the military’s upgrade program amid the recent actions of China in the West Philippine Sea, the subject of a long-standing territorial row in the region.

Philippine officials, however, say that the acquisition of new military assets is not directed against any country.

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To beef up its territorial defense capabilities, the Navy has acquired two warships from the United States — the Gregorio del Pilar (photo), which arrived in 2011 and the Ramon Alcaraz, which is expected to be in the country by July this year.

And where will these two brand-new frigates be built?

DND’s Manalo says they are waiting for the Navy to submit a decision package, which will contain the technical specifications they need.

He says the two brand new ships would be acquired through public bidding. The procurement process may be completed within the second quarter of the year.

Companies from South Korea, Spain and Singapore have expressed interest to join the bidding, he says.

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