DND revives P200-M Scorpion tanks repair, defends revival

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DND revives P200-M Scorpion tanks repair, defends revival

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:26 pm

The Department of National Defense (DND) yesterday defended the “revival” of the P200-million refurbishment and repair contract for the aging Scorpion tanks of the Army which was shelved in the early 2000s due to alleged irregularity.

DND spokesman Eduardo Batac admitted the DND gave the go signal upon the recommendation of Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, who heads the DND-Modernization Group.

Batac said the recommendation came out after Manalo’s group, composed of technical working groups from the three major services, made a review of all pending projects, including that of the Army’s Scorpion tanks.

“That has always been there as a project (but) it was only reviewed last week. So, since it was old project and there is a need to organize a project management team because the members are not around anymore, so that the project can be pursued and expedited,” said Batac.

He said the Scorpion tank project was shelved in the early 2000s since “there were some problems with regard to the proponents but the funds have been allocated and the funds are there. It was shelved but the funds were there but the best thing to do is to reorganize a new working group to look into the project.”

The military has allocated P200 million for the repair and refurbishment of the British-made Scorpion tanks. However, P60 million had already been expended as downpayment to the original proponent, the Alvis Logistics, for initial delivery of spare parts before the project was shelved.

Batac, however, stressed that the present DND leadership will have the project bid out anew.

“No,” replied Batac when asked if the same proponent will be tapped, adding “this will have to be subject to limited source bidding because it has long been delayed.”

Former AFP and Defense chief, the late Angelo Reyes, ordered the shelving of the P200-million Scorpion tanks project in 2001 due to alleged overpricing. Up to now, the project was left hanging.

“It’s an old project, there is no commitment yet. The only thing is to pursue the project and processes are followed based on the procurement law,” Batac stressed.

“It will be bid out and the requirements for the project itself will be based on the terms of reference (ToR) for that particular projects and the proponents who will participate will have to abide by the provisions of the ToR,” Batac added.

Earlier, Army spokesman Col. Antonio Parlade Jr. said the project will cover 12 units of Scorpion tanks plus six new engines.

At present, Parlade said the Army has 12 Scorpion tanks which are operational while six are non-operational. However, the armored vehicles are still powered by gasoline engines which have become costly to maintain.


By Mario J. Mallari

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