MANILA, Philippines - The interagency Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) has allowed the Department of National Defense (DND) to acquire 10 attack helicopters from France and three naval helicopters from Italy through negotiated procurement.
A GPPB resolution dated Oct. 29, a copy of which was obtained by The STAR, superseded an earlier decision that denied DND’s request to acquire the air assets through negotiated procurement under defense cooperation agreements (DCA).
The previous GPPB resolution recommended that DND tap negotiated procurement under emergency case, which involves talks with suppliers rather than with governments.
The new resolution now allowed DND to purchase the helicopters through DCA, provided the agency certifies the identified suppliers are agencies or instrumentalities of the Italian and French governments.
The DND is seeking to acquire key defense assets through government-to-government transactions to fast-track the military’s upgrade efforts. To do this, DND signed DCAs with countries like France and Italy.
The DND plans to acquire 10 attack helicopters from France and was given the budget of P3.4 billion. On the other hand, the three naval helicopters that the DND seeks to procure from Italy had been allotted P1.35 billion.
DND sought GPPB’s approval to tap negotiated procurement under DCA last June 18.
The acquisition of 10 attack helicopters from France was meant to address the volatile security situation in the country and the threats posed by armed groups. The three naval helicopters to be acquired from Italy would be used for maritime security and territorial defense operations.