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News Briefs: Aug. 27, 2019

05:37 AM August 27, 2019

DND to acquire 6 new ships from Australia for PH Navy

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is eyeing the acquisition of six new ships for the Philippine Navy’s offshore patrol vessel project through a government-to-government deal with Australia.

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According to Lorenzana, the Department of National Defense (DND) would avail of the Australian government’s financing offer for six brand-new patrol vessels worth P30 billion.

Australia-based shipbuilder and defense contractor Austal has offered a larger version of its Cape-class patrols vessels currently used by the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Border Force.

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Lorenzana noted that government-to-government procurement would be advantageous because it would not require a huge capital outlay and has sovereign guarantee.

Acquisition of military hardware, he said, is also much faster and easier. —Jeannette I. Andrade

Comelec receives 800,000 voter applications

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already received more than 800,000 applications in the ongoing voter registration.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, the poll body received a total of 802,926 applications nationwide since it opened the voter registration on Aug. 1.

The voter registration opened ahead of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled on May 11, 2020.

Of the number of registrants, 570,743 applications came from regular voters, or those who are 18 years old and above, while 232,183 were received from SK registrants with ages 15 to 17 years old, Comelec said.

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The voter registration will run until Sept. 30, 2019. —Tina G. Santos

Asean Bamboo Network formed at Iloilo confab

MANILA, Philippines — A regional network comprised of environment officials, scientists and researchers in Southeast Asia was recently formed to explore the potentials of bamboo for environmental sustainability and economic resiliency, amid the threats brought by climate change.

The creation of the Asean Bamboo Network was touted as the most prominent feature of the resolution adopted by participants in the first Asean Bamboo Congress held in Iloilo City this month.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the resolution was a “decisive output” that enabled formal commitment of signatories toward a climate-resilient future for the Southeast Asian region.

Under the resolution, there will be enhanced partnerships across the region to come up with science-based strategies to improve the condition of bamboo forests. —Jhesset O. Enano

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