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Philippines to Acquire Landing Dock Vessels for $108 Million

The Philippine Navy will acquire two landing dock vessels worth 5.56 billion Philippine pesos ($108 million) to boost its transport and logistics capabilities, Manila-based television channel News5 reported on Tuesday.

Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana has issued tenders for large transport vessels similar to BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao del Sur, the largest in the navy’s inventory.

Additionally, the Department of National Defense (DND) is expected to open tenders for other craft. These include two landing craft utilities and four rigid-hulled inflatable boats to support maritime operations.

Once the contracts are awarded, the winning bidders will have three years to manufacture and deliver the landing dock craft. The Philippine Navy will acquire two landing dock vessels worth 5.56 billion Philippine pesos ($108 million) to boost its transport and logistics capabilities.

Failed Attempts

The DND has made four attempts to acquire two large transport vessels for the Philippine Navy since 2019.

In one, the country chose a joint venture between Megaship Builders and a Malaysian shipbuilding firm as the lowest bidder. However, it was disqualified due to a lack of equipment and facilities.

The DND received a motion for reconsideration, but the department took a while to issue a resolution. This led to a restart of the bid, a military official told INQUIRER.net.

In 2020, navy public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas announced that the bidding process for the landing dock vessels was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Military Spending Spree

The restart of the bidding process comes as the country is on a military spending spree four months before President Rodrigo Duterte‘s term expires.

The Department of Budget and Management has approved billions of pesos in funding for six offshore patrol vessels, 32 Black Hawk helicopters, and other equipment for the Philippine military.

The country’s procurement of additional vessels will provide an essential boost to its maritime capabilities, especially as it faces security challenges in the West Philippine Sea. The added assets will help in patrolling the Philippines’ maritime territory since the navy is decommissioning at least seven ships due to maintenance costs.

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