Acquisition of 2 more landing docks halted due to Covid-19: Navy
by Philippine News Agency | June 25, 2020
MANILA – The acquisition process for the Philippine Navy’s two more strategic sealift vessels has been temporarily halted due to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Due to Covid-19, the bidding process was temporarily stopped. It is currently on the post-qualification period of the lowest calculated bidder. If the bidder passed, NOA (Notice of Award) and NTP (Notice to Proceed) will be subsequently issued,” Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday night when asked for an update on the project.
Roxas said these ships will act as reinforcements of the two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels, the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and the BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602), that were acquired during the project’s Horizon 1.
“The PN Landing Dock Acquisition Project is included in the Horizon 2 project of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program in the amount of PHP5.56 billion for the two LDs (landing docks),” she added.
The project’s Horizon 1 ran from 2013 to 2017 while Horizon 2 will run from 2018 to 2022.
Roxas added that the two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels, which were acquired from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL for PHP4 billion, have proven very effective especially at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It provides humanitarian assistance serving as a sealift and transport vessel,” she added.
Meanwhile, PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, in a phone interview, said plans to acquire additional landing docks or strategic sealift vessels are ongoing projects of the Navy.
While the Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels will be the basis of the additional ships, there will be some improvements that will be made to these landing docks, he added.
Bacordo said the improvements were recommended by the crews of two ships.
Early this week, BRP Davao del Sur, which arrived in the Philippines last June 12 after a five-month deployment in the Middle East, was ordered to transport some 402 locally stranded individuals and three Filipino expatriates from India and Sri Lanka, to Iloilo.
Aside from this, the ship also delivered 32,000 personal protection equipment sets and other medical supplies to the Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas (Region 6) and has sailed to Cebu City to deliver another 16,000 PPE sets and other items to the OCD headquarters there. (PNA)