The Philippines Navy has received defence asset offers from five countries as part of its plan to boost maritime security and upgrade the armed forces capabilities, Philippines Defence undersecretary Fernando Manalo has revealed.
Speaking to reporters, Manalo was quoted by The Philippine Star as saying that participating countries include South Korea, Spain, Israel, Croatia and Australia.
Details on the type of naval platforms, which were proposed in the fourth quarter of 2012, were not disclosed.
The Philippines Government is currently considering two Maestrale-class frigates that were offered by Italy in January 2012.
"We are evaluating the Maestrale and doing due diligence for whether the Maestrale will really provide us the capability that we need."
"We are evaluating the Maestrale and doing due diligence [for] whether the Maestrale will really provide us the capability that we need, whether Maestrale is economical in the long-term," Manalo added.
The country originally intended to finalise a contract with Italy before the end of 2012, but it was delayed for unknown reasons.
Featuring anti-aircraft, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities, the missile-firing Maestrale-class frigate were commissioned in 1982 by the Italian Navy.
Meanwhile, Philippines President Aquino had signed the new armed forces of the Philippines modernisation law, aimed to enhance the military capabilities that have been seriously depleted due to shortage of resources.
Around PHP75bn ($1.83bn) has been funded for the first five years of the capability upgrade programme.
The US Navy had delivered BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) to the Philippines Navy in 2012, while the second ship of the class, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is expected to be delivered in April 2013.