MANILA, Philippines – The Navy’s first strategic sealift vessel will arrive today.
In a phone interview yesterday, Navy public affairs chief Capt. Lued Lincuna said the BRP Tarlac will play a key role in the disaster response efforts of the Philippines.
“The vessel can transport a large number of supplies and soldiers,” he said.
”It can also accommodate patients because it can be transformed into a hospital ship.
“The vessel can also be a command and control (center) during the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (operations).”
The arrival ceremony for the Tarlac will be held at Pier 13, South Harbor in Manila at 3 p.m.
Either Navy chief Vice Adm. Caesar Taccad or Philippine Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Ronald Mercado will lead the ceremony.
Navy officials and their dependents will also attend the ceremony, which also serves as a tribute to the more than 100 crewmembers who facilitated the ship’s safe voyage to the Philippines, Lincuna said.
In 2014, The STAR reported that Indonesian company PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) won the bidding for the supply of two brand-new strategic sealift vessels for the Navy.
PT PAL submitted a bid of $86,980,000 or about P3.864 billion, well within the P4-billion approved budget for the project.
The ships can transport a large number of equipment, supplies and personnel and can carry three helicopters.
The second strategic sealift vessel is expected to be delivered next year, Lincuna said.