The Philippines will acquire frigates for the Navy through bidding instead of a government-to-government deal, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Wednesday.

“Io-open bidding ‘yan, magkakaroon ng kompitensya para malaman kung maganda ang presyo na io-offer nila,” Gazmin said in a press briefing.

Senior defense officials decided to hold a bidding so they can choose from offers by several countries, defense assistant secretary for acquisition, installations and logistics Patrick Velez said.

“Definitely the procurement should be done within the first quarter,” Velez added.

Gazmin announced in August that the Philippines will acquire two “Maestrale” frigates that Italy is offering, through a government-to-government deal.

Earlier this month, undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel Fernando Manalo said at least five other countries, including South Korea, Spain, the US, Israel, and Croatia, had also offered frigates after Israel. (John Roson)

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