The Philippines will consider accepting United States Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutter if offered by the United States. However, the Philippines will not “actively” request for the transfer, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
“We will not actively ask for it. Pag offer nila sa atin, titignan natin kung pabor sa atin,” Secretary Lorenzana said as quoted by Manila Bulletin.
The United States government is in the process of replacing Hamilton-class cutters with Legend-class cutters.
Nine Hamilton-class cutters were already decommissioned and transferred to Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Three are already in active Philippine Navy service: BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF-15), BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16), and BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17).
Three more Hamilton-class cutters are in active US Coast Guard service.
“Definitely, hindi tayo hihingi pero if they are going to offer it to us, we will look at it first kung magkano ba ang ating gagastusin para mapatakbo yan,” Lorenzana said. “The repair cost is also very big. We’ll look at it muna bago natin tanggapin.”