MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) aims to sign the deal for the P18-billion Navy frigates project in July to fast-track the upgrade of the country’s territorial defense capabilities.
“We aim to perfect the contract for the frigates in July. The contract will have been completed by that time,” Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR in a recent interview.
Workshops were done last February to determine if the four firms that pre-qualified can move on to the next stage of the bidding.
The four firms that pre-qualified are Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures) of Spain and South Korean firms STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc.
The Navy recently finished studying the documents of the four companies eyeing the project.
The Navy technical working group that conducted the workshops has declared all the four companies as eligible bidders.
“They passed the first stage of the bidding, hence they are qualified to participate in the second stage of the bidding,” said Commodore Ronald Mercado of the Navy technical working group.
The second stage involves the submission of financial documents, including the price tag of the ships they are offering.
Seven companies joined the bidding for the frigate project, the second largest item in the military’s upgrade program after the P18.9-billion lead-in fighter trainer jets.
Three other companies – Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., STX France SA and Thyssenkrupp Marine System – were disqualified during the first phase due to deficiencies in the documents they submitted.
Issues were raised on the net financial contracting capacity of Garden Research and STX France and the list of completed contracts submitted by Thyssenkrupp Marine.
The three firms have asked the DND bids and awards committee to overturn their disqualification.
The DND asked the opinion of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPBB) on the three firms’ appeal but has yet to receive a response. The queries were contained in a letter written by Manalo and sent to the GPBB last December.