Recto: PH can also buy locally made vessels
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday called on the government to look into buying locally made vessels for the “disaster-prone” archipelago.
“For a fraction of the P18-billion price tag of two Navy frigates, the country can buy locally-made Pasig River ferry boats, floating hospitals, environmental patrol boats, and other ships needed by a disaster-prone archipelago where half of the towns lie along the coast,” he said in a statement.
The shortage on ships is not only military but for civilian activities, as well, such as coast guard patrol and calamity response, he added.
Recto also urged the government to buy local, citing shipbuilders in Cebu, Navotas, and Subic. He pointed out that the Philippines is recognized as the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world.
He also cited the two Navotas-made research ships — the Lapu-Lapu and Francisco Dagohoy —commissioned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, which have been on research and enforcement patrol since their launch two years ago.
“P250 million lang ang halaga ng bawat isa. Katumbas lang ng downpayment natin doon sa mga Dalian trains ng MRT na hindi naman nagagamit,” Recto said.
Recto also suggested that the Philippines should own a hospital ship.
“We need a hospital ship. Kahit maliit lang. Or two all-purpose mercy ships, which can be used as floating headquarters when all land structures have been destroyed. We are an archipelago. And when there’s a typhoon and the roads are destroyed, the only way to reach the victims is by sea,” he said.
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