MANILA - The government has allocated a P5.4 billion budget for the purchase of two anti-submarine helicopters.
Defense Undersecretary for Defense Operations Natalio Ecarma said the bidding process is open to interested local and foreign suppliers. Ecarma is also head of the Bids and Awards Committee.
Defense undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel Fernando Manalo first revealed the plan in November 2012.
President Benigno Aquino III announced the plan anew during the graduation rites at the Philippine Military Academy in March as part of his promise to modernize the military under his term.
The project includes the acquisition of associated munitions, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistical support for the helicopters.
"Bids received in excess of the approved budget for the contract will automatically be rejected," said Ecarma.
He said the bidding will be conducted using the non-discretionary "pass-fail" test, as provided in Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act.
Bidding documents are already available at P75,000. The initial pre-bid conference will be on May 20.
The delivery of the two combat utility helicopters is 730 calendar days after the opening of the letter of credit.
The Philippine Navy is reportedly interested in the AW159, which is manufactured by Anglo-Italian aircraft manufacturer AgustaWestland.
The AW159 is a medium naval helicopter that has the latest radar and sonar technology, and various armaments including missiles, rockets and torpedoes.
It can reach speeds of up to 291 kilometers per hour.