President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday that his plan to acquire submarines for the Philippine Navy (PN) is still on the table, with offers from different countries that could involve domestic assembly and construction of naval assets.
“There is a plan. But it’s still being developed because the commitment to operate a submarine is not a small commitment. It is a very large commitment because of the training that is involved, the equipment that is involved, and the operational requirements that are involved are quite significant,” President Marcos said during a media interview following his attendance at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Navy in Naval Base Jose V. Andrada on Roxas Blvd.
“So, it is still part of our plan. But right now, we are in the middle of developing mostly our anti-submarine capabilities. So, those were our priorities and then hopefully when the time comes and the conditions are agreeable then we might be able to acquire those submarines.”
“If they are built here and we can actually build submarines here andprovide those submarines to other countries then that’s another source of jobs, and of income and increased capability for our Navy.”
Last year, the Department of National Defense (DND) said that procurement of submarines for the PN was not a priority, saying that it was focusing on the implementation of modernization contracts signed by the previous administration.
A defense official said that although submarines were on their wish list for Horizon 3, the department is prioritizing the implementationof existing contracts, given the limited resources available to the government.
At the same event Friday, Marcos reiterated his commitment to ensuring the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and their families.
“And so, to the brave men and women of our Navy: in fulfilling your duties and mandates, be agents and exemplars for our citizenry by working for unity and by championing respect for our Constitution and the rule of law,” President Marcos said in his speech at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila.
“Rest assured that as your commander-in-chief, this administration will work tirelessly not only to improve the Armed Forces but also in looking for ways and means to improve your individual welfare and those of your families and loved ones as well,” he said.
The President paid tribute to the Navy as an institution and to the men and women behind it, both uniformed and civilian, for continuing the noble cause of defending the republic’s sovereignty and keeping the peace.
Two PN vessels, Patrol Gunboat (PG) 903 (BRP Gener Tinangag) and PG 905 (Domingo Deluana), were commissioned Friday.
The vessels were named after two soldiers who received the highest military award, the Medal of Valor, for bravery in Marawi and in Maguindanao. The ships will be deployed in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“With the commissioning of the two vessels today, we look further forward to the completion of the AFP Modernization Program, particularly its Horizon 3, which is significantly devoted to the naval aspect of our military operations,” said the President.
The ships were delivered to the country last April 11.
“These vessels will soon see action once deployed to vital choke points, major sea lines of communication, and littoral domains of the country. These 32-meter long gunboats will provide added muscle to the Navy’s capability to secure the seas with their quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles,” said Capt. Benjo Negranza, Naval Public Affairs Office director. — With PNA