The Philippine Navy officially welcomed at Alava Wharf, Subic, Zambales today, June 15 its newest and first missile-capable frigate contracted with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
The new ship which will be christened Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Jose Rizal (FF150) once it is commissioned to the service was tendered a traditional arrival ceremony led by the commander of Philippine Fleet Rear Adm. Loumer P. Bernabe after its successful two-week quarantine period in adherence to strict health protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A separate handover christening and commissioning ceremony originally scheduled on June 19 consistent to the birth anniversary of its namesake Dr. Jose Rizal, will be postponed to a later date due to unavoidable circumstances. President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend the momentous event as the guest of honor and speaker.
FF150 first of its class, has a maiden crew of 65 sailors headed by its first commanding officer Captain Jerry Y. Garrido Jr. He considers the frigate as a symbol of another milestone in the PNs pursuit of becoming a more modernized and competent naval force responsive to our maritime nations defense.
In a separate statement Rear Admiral Bernabe expressed his gratitude to all the officers and men of FF150 for their efforts and perseverance in familiarizing the different systems of the ship through constant training and drills. Also he conveyed his utmost appreciation to the HHI Shipbuilder and the South Korean Government for their support in the countrys endeavor to modernize the Philippine Navy and bring home the vessel and its crew safe and secured.
“Together let us bring our Navy to the next level not only because of more modern ships, weapons and sensors but because of more competent and confident personnel equipped with modern and disciplined mindsets” he added.
In the same manner the personal protective equipment (PPE) carried by the vessel that was donated by the South Korean Government and HHI was formally turned over by HHI’s representative Mr. Bokyeung Kang to the PN. Said donation will augment the Philippines capacity in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The addition of FF150 in the current fleet assets certainly provides a significant boost to the fulfilment of the PNs thrust of having modern and multi-mission capable platform competent enough to conduct anti-surface anti-air anti-submarine and electronic warfare operations that truly our maritime nation can depend on. NAVY.MIL.PH