Past Navy chiefs paved way for modernization – Bacordo

While he is elated over the arrival of the country’s first guided-missile frigate and other modern naval assets under his watch, Philippine Navy (PN) Chief, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, attributed the success of these modernization projects to his predecessors. 

“I’m happy for the PN because this is what we wished for during our early years in the Navy. But these modernization efforts were started by past FOICs (Flag-Officers-In-Command) and only materialized now,” he said when asked on Tuesday night how he felt being the Navy chief who witnessed the arrival and commissioning of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and fruition of the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft-Missile (FAIC-M).

Bacordo assumed as Navy chief on February 3 last year, replacing Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad who retired from the service.

The BRP Jose Rizal arrived in the Philippines on May 23, 2020 and was commissioned on July 10, 2020.

Meanwhile, the PN’s second guided-missile frigate, the prospective BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is expected to arrive in the country by mid-February after being certified approved for delivery and acceptance by a joint Department of National Defense (DND) – PN inspection team last January 29.

Based on the agreed timeline, the BRP Antonio Luna is scheduled to sail out of Ulsan, South Korea on February 5 and is expected to arrive in Subic, Philippines on February 10.

Meanwhile, the Notice of Award for the FAIC-M was issued by the DND on January 4 with the Notice to Proceed expected to be released by mid-February.

Deliveries of the FAIC-M are scheduled to start in 2022.

Bacordo added that the Navy’s modernization efforts could have gone further if not for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“If not for Covid-19, we could have seen the first few units of our FAIC-M delivered in-country; the finalization of our OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel), Corvette, Submarine, and Shore-Based Missile Systems,” he added.

Bacordo also expressed hope that his efforts to improve and further professionalize the PN would be felt in the years to come.

“In the same manner that the efforts of my administration – the high-impact projects, the changing of the mindsets, the capacitating of our personnel, the strict implementation of the Fields of Specialization, etc. – will be felt in the years to come,” he said. PNA.GOV.PH