MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) will likely deploy one of its two Bacolod City-class logistic support vessels in the ASEAN-China naval exercise scheduled Oct. 22-29 in Zhanjiang, People's Republic of China.

PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said that BRP Bacolod City (LC-550) or its sister ship, BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) will be deployed in the naval maneuvers off Zhanjiang later this month.

"Isang cargo ship ang ipapadala natin, (LC) 550 ata or 551 (We will send one cargo ship. It's either the LC 550 or 551)," Empedrad said in an interview.

The Bacolod City-class logistic support vessel has a displacement of 4,265 tons at full load, at 273 feet long, has a draft of 12 feet and a top speed of 12 knots.

It was commissioned in PN services in the 1990s.

The exercise will focus primarily on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and inter-operability among participating naval ships, he added.

Earlier, Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the proposal for a joint ASEAN and Chinese naval exercise was submitted during the ASEAN Defense Minister Meeting in Singapore last February.

He added that the exercise would center on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and anti-piracy and improvement of the Conduct of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES). (PNA)