PHL may prioritize acquiring fast boats than large warships

The Philippines may not be acquiring additional frigates in the near future after the delivery of 2 frigates ordered from South Korean shipbuilder Heavy Hyundai Industries. This was bared by National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during an economic forum on March 21.

“I think the two frigates from Hyundai will be the last in the near future. We are not keen on ordering more capital ships or the big ones,” Secretary Lorenzana said, as quoted by Rappler, when asked by former National Economic and Development Authority director general Romulo Neri if it is prudent to acquire large warships that are easy targets.

“We are going to have to buy more small vessels, the fast boats,” the defense chief added.

Secretary Lorenzana also noted that military procurement will prioritize local manufacturers.

“If we’re buying something, we first should go to local manufacturers,” he said.

However, Lorenzana noted that current procurement law is disadvantageous to local manufacturers, a reason why he is talking with some lawmakers for possible amendment.

“Local manufacturers are slapped 12% VAT whereas the foreign suppliers are not. That is one of the complaints of the local manufacturers. I’m talking to some senators,” he explained.