Second Japanese multi-role vessel commissioned to Coast Guard
The second unit of multi-role response vessels (MRRV) from Japan has formally commissioned to Philippine Coast Guard service in a ceremony in Manila on Thursday.
The vessel was commissioned by Transportation Undersecretary for Maritime, Usec Felipe Judan and Commodore Joel Garcia, officer-in-charge of the Coast Guard.
The event was also attended by JICA Chief Representative Susumo Ito and Minister of Economic Affairs of Japan Embassy, Minister Makoto Iyori.
Ito said the Japan International Cooperation Agency will continue to support the capability development of the PCG.
“JICA will continuously partner with the PCG in strengthening the maritime capability, on this note I wish everyone especially the PCG personnel boarding the Malabrigo vessel… productive years ahead,” Ito said.
In an ambush interview, Garcia said the Coast Guard is in the process of arming the MRRV’s from Japan with 50 mm machine gun.
“We are in the process of contemplating to put arms, not just the Tubbataha, not just the Malabrigo but the rest of the vessel that will come from Japan ,” he said.
Sources said each ship will be armed with six 50 mm machine gun.
Sources said Malabrigo has a gun-based plate where the machine gun will be placed.
BRP Malabrigo left Japan last December 2 and arrived at Pier 13 in South Harbor, Manila last December 8.
It is the second MRRV vessel from Japan that was commissioned to Coast Guard service after BRP Tubbataha that was commissioned during the 115th founding anniversary of the Coast Guard last month.
These two vessels that named before the lighthouses in the country were built by the Japan Marine United Corp. Yokohama Shipyard as part of the 10 units of 44-meter MRRV’s that were acquired by the Philippines under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project of the transportation department.
This procurement was implemented as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project through a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The loan facility for the project covers P 7,373,700,000.00 out of the total project of P 8,807,700,000.00 while the rest of P 1,434,000,000.00 will be sourced from the Philippine counterpart.
The delivery of eight vessels have a standard cruising speed of 25 knots, and a range of 1,500 nautical miles is expected to be completed by 2018. Robina Asido/DMS