PH buying 2 brand-new warships
By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
| April 30, 2013 at 12:20 am
The Philippines is getting two brand-new frigates as part of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said on Monday.
He told reporters that the Department of National Defense (DND) had earmarked P18 billion for the purchase of the two vessels through a public bidding. He said a number of countries, including South Korea, Spain and Singapore, would participate in the bidding.
Manalo also disclosed that the DND had been negotiating for a government-to-government acquisition of 12 jet fighters from South Korea.
He said the DND had decided to scrap previous plans to acquire refurbished frigates since secondhand vessels would be more costly to maintain. He said the DND had allocated P9 billion for each frigate, or fast warship.
“The purchase of the frigates has been in the pipeline,” Manalo said. “We are just waiting for the Navy to submit their ‘decision package.’ After that, we will review it and issue an acquisition decision memorandum signed by (Defense) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,” he said.
Manalo said the process could take a week. “After that, we’ll schedule one or two prebid conferences.”
“We originally wanted to buy secondhand frigates but then we realized that it would be expensive in the long run if we are going to buy secondhand,” he added.
He noted that older ships required more maintenance repairs compared to new vessels. He said the DND had previously approved P6 billion for each refurbished frigate.