Philippine Navy to send off ships bound for Middle East Tuesday
By Frances G. Mangosing
January 14, 2020 at 12:46 am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy on Tuesday will deploy two of its ships to the Middle East to assist in the evacuation of overseas Filipino workers who may be affected by the US-Iran conflict.

President Rodrigo Duterte will lead the send-off ceremony for the Navy contingent at Pier 13 in South Harbor, the Navy said in a media advisory Monday evening.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) and BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) with a company-size contingent have been designated to lead the mission.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been working on the landing/docking clearances, as well as access to refueling and replenishment facilities for the Philippine military.

The Philippine government is looking at Oman as a staging point for the Navy to carry out its mission, learned.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that they will send two battalions of troops to assist in the evacuation. However, it was agreed later on to send a small contingent instead.

“Two battalions would be a lot and they would be taking much of the spaces on the ship, leaving very little or nothing for the repatriates,” he said.

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