Duterte to sell presidential yatch

DAVAO CITY — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will be selling the presidential yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo.

Speaking to reporters, Duterte said proceeds from the sale of the yacht will go to war veterans, improvement of hospital facilities, and salaries for doctors so they would not have to leave the country for higher-paying jobs.

According to the Palace website, after President Cory Aquino took over in 1986, she put up the BRP Ang Pangulo “for sale for US$5.5 million, but it was not sold.” She had “tried to do away with all the lavishness and extravagance” of the Marcos administration, noting that it was “costing the government P400,000 a month simply to maintain” the presidential yacht.

When President Estrada assumed office in 1998, the BRP Ang Pangulo was “extensively furnished.” Malacañang said, “The ship served as a venue for presidential events and as a mobile office for the president,” such as during Estrada’s trips to Mindanao.

In 2006, the BRP Ang Pangulo caught fire while it was undergoing repairs. After refurbishing and repair, President Arroyo renamed the yacht BRP Pag-Asa.

President Benigno Aquino restored the name of presidential yacht to BRP Ang Pangulo. He also ordered that the ship “augment the capabilities of the Philippine Navy.” (ABS-CBN)