PCG starts coordination with Japan for transfer of speed boats with small guns
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they have began initial coordination for the transfer of the remaining speed boats from Japan .
Commander Armando Balilo, PCG spokesman , told the Daily Manila Shimbun in an interview late Wednesday: “There was 600 million yen for anti-terrorism equipment. This would (be) translated in a 10 speed boats equipped with small guns for (Philippine Coast Guard) coast guard.”
“Our plans and programs as well as our operation have initial coordination. It was intimated to us during the anniversary celebration that was told by (Japanese) ambassador,” he added.
It can be recalled during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte in Japan last month, he have expressed his appreciation for the Japanese government to provide high-speed boats and other equipment that would enhance anti-terrorism capabilities of the Philippines .
After the delivery of BRP Tubbataha last August, the PCG are also waiting for nine more units of 44-meter Multi Role Response Vessels and two bigger ships acquired from Japan .
The second unit of the MRRV is expected to arrive before the end of 2016.
Balilo said the PCG is waiting for approval to acquire bigger ships from France .
Balilo said based on initial details the acquisition of two 90 footer vessels from France is just waiting for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“What I know is it’s on the table of the president. It just needs his signature and then it will be constructed,” Balilo said.
Balilo said two smaller vessels will be acquired from France with the 90-footer ships.
Balilo did not say the cost of the French vessels but he assures the Philippine government has funds.
“So there will be no problem on the funding. It’s up to the president to sign it,” he added.
Balilo stressed the importance of the maritime vessels as he admitted the PCG lacks assets.
“We are lacking on capability that is why we were given additional (vessels.We are very thankful… The government now is seeing the reality that the Coast Guard should be beefed up because the deployment is white-to-white ship,” said Balilo. Robina Asido/DMS