DND signs P1.6-B purchase deal for choppers, ambulances
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2012 - 4:19pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) has signed contracts for the acquisition of three naval helicopters and 60 units of field ambulance worth P1.6 billion.

The three AW 109 Power Helicopters cost P1.34 billion while the 60 units of 1.25 ton field ambulance cost P300.78 million.

The two contracts were signed last December 20 by security officials and representatives of the suppliers.

The naval helicopters were acquired from Anglo-Italian firm AugustaWestland S.P.A. through negotiated procurement under emergency case.

Such mode of procurement is provided under section 53.2 of the implementing rules and regulations of the procurement law.

“We are now louder and clearer in our intent to upgrade the capability of our Armed Forces to address its constitutional duty to secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory,” DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a statement.

“The acquisition of these naval helicopters is one concrete step towards the fulfillment of our goal to modernize the Philippine Navy, and our Armed Forces in general,” he added.

Last month, AugustaWestland was declared as the single calculated and responsive proponent by the Naval Helicopter Acquisition Project Negotiating Committee.

The Italian defense ministry then conducted a review of AugustaWestland’s proposal for the procurement of the helicopters.

The DND said the Italian government had found out that the price per helicopter “seems to have been progressively reduced,” meaning they were sold cheaper.

Meanwhile, the 60 ambulance units were purchased from Korean firm KIA Motors Corp. to provide medical assistance to soldiers in the field.

“The purchase of these field ambulances will greatly help in saving the lives of our soldiers who are out there fighting for our nation and the Filipino people,” Gazmin said.

“In the same sense, we can use these to help in our disaster rescue and relief operations to aid our beleaguered countrymen and help save a lot of lives,” he added.

The acquisition of twelve units of five-ton trucks for the Army was also included in the contract.

The procurement was done under the Memorandum of Understanding on Logistics and Defense Industry Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.

The DND has been trying to fast-track the military’s capability upgrade program by entering into negotiations with foreign governments.

Other assets it seeks to acquire through government-to-government transactions include attack helicopters, fighter jets, warships, small boats and ammunition. – Alexis Romero

ALEXIS ROMERO ARMED FORCES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND THE PHILIPPINES LOGISTICS AND DEFENSE INDUSTRY COOPERATION MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING MOTORS CORP NAVAL HELICOPTER ACQUISITION PROJECT NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE PHILIPPINE NAVY POWER HELICOPTERS SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN
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