PN commissions new banner ship BRP Jose Rizal

Published July 10, 2020, 7:13 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine Navy’s (PN) brand new and four-dimensional warfare-capable frigate finally entered service as BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) in a joint turnover, blessing, and commissioning ceremony at the Alava Wharf in Subic Bay, Zambales on Friday.

BRP – Jose Rizal

President Duterte graced the commissioning ceremony of the missile-capable warship with a video message congratulating the Navy for adding a credible warship to its inventory that is at par with other navies in the world.

The frigate is capable of fighting the four dimensions of warfare — anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and electronic warfare (EW).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the transfer documents with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Project Manager Bokyeung Kang to mark the formal turnover of the frigate to the Philippines.

It was followed by the christening rites of the new frigate.

Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command, said that naming the new frigate after national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was an attempt “to uphold the legacy of our national hero and serve as a tangible representation of his patriotism.”

Rizal’s oldest living descendant, Emmanuel Herbosa, attended the ceremony.

“This missile-equipped warship that is capable of carrying out anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, and electronic warfare operations is now the face of the Philippine Navy,” Bacordo said.

He added that the acquisition of the new frigate is a “dream come true” for the Navy, which strives to be stronger and more capable “to better serve the country and the Filipino people.”

BRP Jose Rizal arrived in the Philippines from South Korea on May 23.

It was steered by a maiden crew of 65 sailors under the command of Capt. Jerry Garrido Jr.

The commissioning ceremony was originally slated last June 19 to coincide with the birth date of Rizal but it was postponed by the Navy.

The crew and the vessel had to undergo a quarantine as part of health protocols due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic before the technical inspection and acceptance committee could board the ship for an examination.

The lead ship of its class, BRP Jose Rizal was built by South Korean shipmaker HHI together with its sister ship, the future BRP Antonio Luna (FF151), which is set to be delivered in September.

The two missile frigates are part of an P18-billion contract between the Philippines and South Korea  in October 2016. Each frigate costs P8 billion, with some P2 billion alloted for their systems and munition.