Process to acquire landing docks for PH Navy restarts
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense has restarted the bidding for the acquisition of two landing platform docks for the Philippine Navy.
An invitation to bid dated Sept. 30 was posted on the DND’s official website. This would be the fourth attempt to acquire such vessels, seen to enhance the Navy’s amphibious landing missions and transport tasks.
Three attempts had earlier failed since 2019 for various reasons, according to two security officials privy to the matter.
On the third try, Megaship Builders’ joint venture with a Malaysian shipbuilder, the lowest bidder in 2019, was disqualified after the bid due to lack of equipment and facilities. The resolution on the motion to reconsider took a while, which resulted in the restarting of the bid, said one official.
Another official said the terms of reference and bidding documents caused confusion, as the requirements of the Navy and rules of the Bids and Awards Committee got mixed up. But these issues had already been fixed, he said.
The vessels for acquisition were expected to be improvements of the two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels currently in the Navy’s inventory—the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602)—both built by Indonesian shipbuilder PT Pal Persero.
The DND is allocating P5.56 billion for two strategic sealift vessels, with four landing craft utility and four units of rigid hull inflatable boats.
A pre-bid conference will be held on Oct. 12, while the deadline of submission of bids is on Oct. 26.
In a related development, the potential acquisition of two corvettes from South Korea appeared to be nearing the final stages.
Negotiations concluded last week and the next step would be a post qualification inspection in South Korea, said a security official.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the acquisition of big-ticket military modernization projects, like the corvettes, was stalled as funds were diverted to COVID-19 response.
The Philippine military remains to be one of the weakest in the region, leaving the sprawling archipelago vulnerable to threats like China’s aggression and expansionist territorial claims.
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