MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Friday (May 26) said his administration is planning to acquire the Philippines’ first-ever submarine in an apparent bid to catch up with Southeast Asian neighbours.
For now, however, Marcos said the government is working to bolster the country’s anti-submarine capabilities.
“There is a plan but it is still being developed because the treatment to operate submarines is not a small commitment, it is a very large commitment because the training, the equipment that is involved, and the operational requirements that are involved is quite significant,” he said in an ambush interview in Manila, where he attended the celebration of Philippine Navy’s 125th anniversary.
“It is still a part of our plan but right now we are in the middle of developing mostly the anti-submarine capabilities,” he added.
According to Marcos, several countries – like France – offer to manufacture submarines for the Philippines.
To recall, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz has confirmed that Paris is in an “ongoing discussion” with the Marcos administration about potentially purchasing its first-ever submarine.
The Philippine Navy had also started sending personnel to France for training before procuring the submarines.
The Philippines is an archipelago with one of the world’s longest coastlines. It also faces territorial disputes with its neighbours.
But it has been left behind in the submarine race with its Southeast Asian neighbors because Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore already have submarines.