The Philippines may soon sign a contract for the construction and delivery of six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Philippine Navy. MaxDefense Philippines said in its social networking page, October 24, that it believes a contract signing is imminent.
MaxDefense Philippines said that it “looks like the DND (Department of National Defense) did get the nod from [President Rodrigo] Duterte to proceed with a soft loan agreement with the Australian government. The project is being position as a G2G (government-to-government) deal between PH (Philippines) and AU (Australia).”
It can be remembered that President Duterte ordered to ban new loans and grants from countries that voted in favor of a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to investigate the Philippines’ war on drugs.
However, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he will be asking for an exemption from the President for the 6 OPVs deal to be built by Australia-based Austal in its shipyard in Balamban, Cebu.
“We are still talking with the Australians. I have just written them a letter that we would like to avail of financing from the government of Australia and they have not yet replied to me. Once I get that reply, then I will ask for an exemption from the President,” Secretary Lorenzana said in September.
Last week, Lorenzana said “well I told him we were travelling from Moscow when I told him, I said, he just nod, he said okay you know, so I still have to make the formal request but I’m almost certain na (that) he will approve it because of this, the mode of procurement is not being built outside, it will be built in the Philippines and one of his marching orders at the start of his Presidency was to develop our capability (to construct naval ships) in-country.”
Austal describes the OPVs as designed and built in the Philippines, by Filipinos for Filipinos.