PH to upgrade naval detachment facing Spratlys

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is upgrading the facilities of a naval detachment in Oyster Bay in Puerto Princesa City, a location that is extremely strategic to the military because it is facing the disputed Kalayaan Group of Islands (Spratlys) in the West Philipine Sea. 

A pier, harbor, and support facilities will be constructed at the Naval Detachment Oyster Bay using P313.6 million from the Department of Energy Capital Outlay.

"The DND/AFP now invites bids for the acquisition of Bases Support and Logistics System Project of the Philippine Navy, particularly for Lot 10 and 11, in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan," reads the invitation to bid posted on the website of the Department of National Defense (DND). 

The project comes at a time when Manila is caught in a row with Beijing over the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea). The Philippines has lodged a complaint before the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) against China, which virtually claims all of South China Sea. (READ: FAST FACTS: South China Sea, a decades-long source of tension)

"This will improve our support system for the ships we deploy in the West Philippine Sea," said Commodore Natalio Abinuman, commander of the Naval Forces West, on Wednesday, November 20.

The naval detachment has a pier and harbor, but it lacks facilities for the refueling of ships. There is no power cable connection either.

The construction of the pier and harbor has been allocated P237 million, while construction of the support facilities has a budget of P76.5 million. The construction should be completed 406 calendar days and 250 calendar days, respectively, from the opening of Letter of Credit. 

The open competitive bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens, sole proprietorships, and partnerships or organizations with at least 75% interest or outstanding capital stocks belonging to Filipino citizens.

The bid will open on December 2. "Bidders should have completed within the last ten (10 years) from the date of submission and receipt of bids, a contract similar to the project," the invitation to bid added. –