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MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) has earmarked P18 billion for two brand-new frigates for the Philippine Navy and is scheduled to open the bidding for the ships this week.

As stated in the bidding announcement, the contract for the frigate project includes a complete weapons system.
Bidders are required to have delivered a project of similar scale in the last 10 years and will have to turn over the new vessel to the DND within 1,460 calendar days from the opening of the letter of credit.

The DND said it will hold the pre-bidding conference on October 11, while the first stage of bidding is set on October 25 at the DND Bidding Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The agency has acquired two second-hand Hamilton-class cutters BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) the past year. While the Del Pilar has started its service under the Navy, the Alcaraz is set to be commissioned this month.

Philippine Navy flag officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano has said that five countries have so far expressed interest in joining the bidding namely the US, Israel, Croatia, Australia and South Korea.

DND also said that purchasing brand new vessels are more cost-effective than pushing through with plans to acquire Italy’s Maestrale-class frigates.

“We found out that it will be more expensive to maintain second hand vessel(s) than buying a new one,” DND undersecretary Fernando Manalo said in a previous report. (Philippine Star)