February 12, 2021 – The Philippine Navy (PN) will be decommissioning four ships next month.
In a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Thursday night, PN chief, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said these are the BRP Quezon (PS-70), a former Auk-class minesweeper of the US Navy constructed during World War II and transferred to the PN in 1967; the BRP Pangasinan (PS-70), a former US Navy patrol craft escort built in 1943 and turned over to the country in 1948; the Tomas Batilo-class fast patrol craft, BRP Salvador Abcede (PC-114); and the BRP Emilio Liwanag (PC-118), which were acquired from South Korea in 1996.
“These ships have already served our nation more than enough and are now too costly to maintain,” he said.
Bacordo said the PN is phasing out these ships so that the Navy can “devote more resources to our newly-acquired ships”.
Earlier, the PN took delivery of its first two guided-missile frigates, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), which is expected to be commissioned soon while the decommissioned Tomas Batilo-class is expected to be replaced by the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) also known as the Shaldag Mark 5 which is expected to start delivery by 2022.
Notice of Award for the FAIC-M was released by the Department of National Defense last January 4.
“We have to allocate our meager budget to maintain our more modern warships,” Bacordo added.
The PN chief, however, assured the public that they have sufficient ships remaining to conduct their various missions.
“Notwithstanding, we have a sufficient number of ships to continue performing our mandate to protect our people, secure our sovereignty and the integrity of our national territory,” Bacordo said.