THE Philippine Army is in the process of acquiring 52 boats, worth P182 million, to bolster its campaign against terrorist groups in Mindanao and in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Army spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said the bidding process is ongoing, under the modernization program of the Armed Forces.
One of the proponents, Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation based in Cavite, showcased the water craft it is offering at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio last Tuesday.
The boats being acquired, which cost P3.5 million each, can load at least eight soldiers in full battle gear and has a minimum speed of 25 knots.
Zagala said the assets being acquired “will boost the counter-terrorism and the humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations” of Special Forces soldiers in “priority areas” in Mindanao.
Several terrorist groups are known to operate in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu Sayyaf which are known to operate mainly in central Mindanao and western Mindanao, respectively.
Zagala said the boats “are intended to augment the existing water navigation mobility assets of the Army used in patrol and troop insertion operations.”