News: DND finalizing shopping list for AFP modernization

Wed for Thu / Jan 30 for Jan 31, 2013
Written by: Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter
[433 words / 2,576 characters]

THE Department of National Defense said it is finalizing the list of assets planned for procurement under the new AFP Modernization Plan.

"We just need to identify which should be for open public bidding and which should be on a government-to-government basis," DND spokesperson Peter Paul Ruben G. Galvez said in a press briefing Wednesday.
Galvez said that the DND would submit the costing to Congress by the first week of February, nearly three weeks ahead of their February 27 deadline.
He added that the list would show all the land, air, and naval assets that the DND plans to buy within the P75-billion fund allotted for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
But DND Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said that they were very careful in identifying the assets to be bought because the fund is inadequate.
"We're studying allo options because the fund is too small and spread over five years," Gazmin said in Tagalog.
"Kulang na kulang yan kung talagang bibili ka ng mga di kalidad at first hand or brand new na gamit. So hinihimay naming maigi para makuha natin yung maximum nung pera natin."
Patrick M. Velez, DND Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Installations and Logistics, said identifying whether to opt for a government-to-government negotiation or public bidding "is part of the process of examination."
"The default, really, is public bidding. We can go on a G-to-G in certain instances where the equipment is not available."
Gazmin cited as example the frigates being eyed for the Philippine Navy.
"Italy is one of the leading candidates but we're going to open bidding on this one."
Likewise, Gazmin said 21 helicopters are also being placed in an open bidding this month.
On the other hand, Velez said that the DND is negotiating with South Korea for a squadron of F50 fighter jets.
Two fighter jets from South Korea
may be delivered to the Philippines
by August if deal finalized.
Galvez said that they were able to trim down the original P24 billion for the 12 jets to P18 billion.
"We're also negotiating that maybe they can include technical support and other non-cash components in the deal."
Galvez said they were able to trim down the original allocation by identifying which item can be locally accomplished, like maintenance and operating costs.
"So kung kaya naman natin na tayo na ang sagot sa MOOE, inalis na natin dun sa original estimate," he told BusinessMirror after the press briefing.
Galvez said they are also asking the Koreans if it is possible to deliver two of the fighter jets in six months.
If that comes to fruition, siguro mga August or September, meron na tayong fighter jets, he added.

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