Unknown to many, the Philippine Navy (PN) is capable of steaming or deploying 78 percent of its fleet of patrol and logistic vessels at any given time. This was stressed by PN flag officer-in-command Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad during the presentation of the proposed 2016 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) before the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
Taccad was responding to questions from the lawmakers on whether the PN can sail to show the flag and protect Philippine territory from poachers and other threats.
The PN chief also said that it is using its aircraft to project Philippine sovereignty over the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal which lies 124 nautical miles off Zambales.
The area is currently under Chinese control.
As of this posting, the PN has on its inventory 124 fleet marine units ready for various contingencies.
Taccad said that 78 percent of these units can steam if needed, adding that these ships are not merely sitting alongside piers.