After more than a year of study, reviews and evaluations, the Dept of National Defense's Bids and Awards Committee finally released a 2-Stage bid process for two (light) frigates in early October 2013.
After several postponements on the initial opening of the 1st stage, it was finally conducted on 07 Dec 2013. Seven suppliers/shipyards submitted their bids.
Four were initially declared qualified for the 2nd stage :
1. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. - (DSME) of South Korea
2. Hyundai Heavy Industries - (HHI) of South Korea
3. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. of South Korea
4. Navantia of Spain
Meanwhile, three others were disqualified due to flaw in their documents. They, however, filed for motions of reconsideration of the ruling. By April 2014, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (India) and STX France SA (France)'s motions for reconsideration were approved. This brings to six as the total number of approved 1st-stage bidders. Ultimately, it was only ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems TKMS (Germany) that didn't qualify.
In August, 2014 -: DND ASec P Velez revealed
that due to some possible export restrictions by the gov't of the munition suppliers, it was tentatively decided that the monolithic project will now be split into two portions : about P15.5B (1USD:PHP44.5 = $348M) for the actual ships with some operational fit and P2.5B for ammunition of these ships.
In Nov 2015 -: Dept of Natl Defense (DND) was finally given authority by Pres Aquino
to enter into Multi-Year Contracts (MYC), paving way for the FF-AP to move further. This only actually came after Pres Aquino approved the remainder
of the AFP Mod Project Horizon-1 List (2013-17).
By Feb 2016 -: The 2nd Stage of the bid process finally commenced. Updated Technical Specs was released. The FF-AP was indeed split into Platform Lot and Munitions Lot. The main FF-AP was transformed into the Platform Lot, which notably deleted the supply of missiles and ammunition from the bid; although weapons launchers remained part of the platform. Approved budget was set at P16M, which is slightly higher by P 0.5B over the Aug-2014 pronouncement. Bids were finally opened on March 17, 2016.
Out of the six qualified bidders, only four submitted their bids. Daewoo (DSME) and Navantia's bids were declared 'unresponsive'. GRSE was declared as the Lowest Calculated Bid (LCB), while Hyundai (HHI) was the 2nd LCB. However, in a Post-Qualification verification conducted later, GRSE's bid was disqualified
due to financial issues (NFCC).
Hyundai, which had submitted the second lowest bid, passed the post-qualification -- and on 18-Aug, the new DND Sec Delfin Lorenzana approved the Notice of Award for HHI to deliver the two frigates based on the timeline on the bid. Contract was set to be signed in late September.
Image of the Notice-of-Award (NOA) from PhilGEPS :