MANILA, Philippines — As the Philippine Navy (PN) celebrates its 118th founding anniversary Wednesday, it is no longer the decrepit force which earned derision from its foreign counterparts.
“Today, we stand proud because we are a far cry from the old, decrepit navy that we once were. We are a Navy poised for modernization and our shared aspiration of a strong and credible Navy is almost at hand,” PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad said.
The change in the PN’s fortunes is attributable to the strong support extended by President Benigno S. Aquino III’s to the military modernization program.
The Chief Executive was the guest-of-honor and speaker in the Navy’s 118th founding anniversary Wednesday.
Aquino also headed the commissioning ceremonies for the country’s first strategic sealift vessel, the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and three ex-Royal Australian Navy landing craft heavies who were named BRP Agta (LC-290), BRP Iwak (LC-289) and BRP Waray (LC-288).
All four ships will be assign to the Sealift Amphibious Force of the Philippine Fleet.
“In every way that we can, we strive to repay this trust with the very best of our performance. Our awardees this morning are testimonies to the dedication of our personnel and our units to even in the face of meager resources or imminent threats,” Taccad stressed.
“Finally, today is a celebration of the future. It is our expression of hope that we see in the years ahead of us. Even in the face of the real and urgent threats, we sail on and we look at the promising horizon before us, not only for the Navy but for our country. Our government has made great strides in strengthening our economy and fortifying the foundations of sustainable development, and we have done so much in rebuilding the dignity of our public institutions,” he added.
And in line with this promise, the PN chief said the Navy is more than ready to continue fulfilling its role for national development, with the support of the national government leaders, lawmakers, our higher headquarters, and our stakeholders.
“The Navy shall continue performing while transforming. More assets will be arriving within the year and the acquisition of more platforms are already in the pipeline. We cannot afford to slow down. We have already built a firm foundation marked by culture of integrity and excellence, and we mean to continue sailing towards becoming the modern, formidable Navy that can make our country proud,” he added. Tammy Delos Reyes(OJT)/PNA/northboundasia.com