MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy's second brand new landing dock vessel, the BRP Davao Del Sur, arrived at the South Harbor on Monday, May 8.
"After almost 4 days of voyage, Davao Del Sur has anchored at [the South Harbor in Manila]," said Navy spokesperson Lued Lincuna.
"She will undergo customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) procedures,"
The welcome ceremony for BRP Davao Del Sur is scheduled on Wednesday, May 10. Separate commissioning rites is expected to immediately follow.
The BRP Davao Del Sur departed Surabaya, Indonesia for Manila last week, May 4. Rear Admiral Gaudecio Collado, commander of the Philippine Fleet, was in Indonesia to conduct the ceremonial Sail Away ceremony for the vessel.
BRP Davao Del Sur is the navy's second Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV), following the arrival of the BRP Tarlac in June 2016. The two brand new ships cost the previous Aquino administration P4 billion ($85 million*).
It is a much awaited asset of the Philippine Navy. The SSV has ability to serve as one-stop operations center at sea, crucial in sending quick deployments such as in humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
"It will complement our first, the BRP Tarlac, of course. It will have an impact on our HADR [high availability disaster recovery] operations because it's a very big vessel. It can accomodate a lot of cargo and a lot of personnel," said Lincuna.
Measuring 123 meters long and with a maximum carrying capacity of 11,583 tons, the SSVs can transport heavy equipment, supplies, and troops to anywhere in the archipelago. It has provisions for 121 crew members and can house up to 500 soldiers. It can also carry up to 3 naval helicopters on its heli-deck and two "baby boats" in its rear hold. No other load-bearing ship in the Navy's fleet can compare.
The BRP Tarlac has also been recently deployed to conduct naval blockades in southern Philippines, helping in the military's operations against local terrorists.