MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN)'s largest ship, the landing platform BRP Tarlac (LD-601), is now getting ready to transport medicines and other relief supplies for "Urduja"-battered Tacloban City.

"The PN's newest landing dock and largest vessel, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), is getting ready to depart here (Pier 13, Manila South Harbor) once the loading of tons of relief items intended for our countrymen in Visayas Region particularly Tacloban City that have been devastated by 'Urduja' is complete and the sea condition has improved for the vessel's safe navigation," Navy Spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message Friday.

Lincuna said personnel from different PN units together with the crew of BRP Tarlac are now completing the hauling and loading of more or less 220 tons of assorted relief items such as food and non-food items like hygiene kits, medical kits, mosquito nets, plastic mats, and solar lamps consolidated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

BRP Tarlac is among the most recent acquisitions of the PN which allows the command to efficiently fulfill its duties in the area of humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

It has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.

BRP Tarlac can also carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters. "It is a manifestation of the PN being always ready and committed in providing prompt assistance to our disaster-stricken countrymen in order to alleviate them from their current ordeals," Lincuna said. (PNA)