“The Philippine Navy has to establish a credible presence there, in terms of combat ships, if we are to discourage foreign seaborne threats, including poachers,” said Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel as quoted by ManilaStandard.net.
Pimentel is a member of House of Representatives National Defense and Security Committee.
The solon said the Philippine Navy lacks battle-ready ships, a reason why Philippines is having difficulty in enforcing sovereign rights within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Our naval warfare service should at least be as formidable as Indonesia’s, which has three fleets of larger and faster ships, including submarines.” he said.
He also lamented the current situation of the three Del Pilar-class ships which were recently reclassified as offshore patrol vessels. One is for repair.
The Philippine Navy is set to receive two Korean-made frigates, however, Pimentel said these will not be enough. “The two frigates are a definitely a good start, but sadly, they won’t be enough. Indonesia has at least eight frigates, among other warships,” he said.
“The next Congress should see to it that the Navy gets all the new funding needed to acquire more warships in the years ahead,” he noted.