MANILA – The acquisition of the Philippines' first missile-frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), highlights the government's commitment to protecting the country, the chief of the Philippine Navy (PN) said on Friday.
"This newest addition to our naval assets is a testament and the reflection of our government's commitment to protect and show our love for the country," Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in his speech during the handover, christening, commissioning, and blessing of the ship at the Alava Wharf in Subic Bay, Zambales.
Bacordo added that the ship embodies the values exemplified by its namesake, national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
He said Jose Rizal is a fitting name for the PN's first newly acquired surface combatant.
"A great hero, (the BRP Jose Rizal) represents love of country, and a fiery dedication to protect its freedom and sovereignty," Bacordo said.
As Navy chief, Bacordo said he is "overjoyed" that the BRP Jose Rizal has finally joined the Navy fleet.
"Having a frigate in our fleet enhances our warfighting readiness," he said.
The BRP Jose Rizal arrived in Subic Bay, Zambales last May 23 after leaving the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea last May 18.
The ship's original commissioning date was June 19 to coincide with the hero's 159th birth anniversary but this was moved after one of its crew members tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on a routine check-up.
The ship is capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.
The BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the HHI shipyard on May 23, 2019.
Incidentally, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), the sister ship of BRP Jose Rizal, was launched in the same facility on November 8 last year.
The contract for the two ships is placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)