PCG to acquire two ships, its biggest, from Japanese firm
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will acquire two patrol ships, the biggest-ever, from a Japanese shipbuilding company.
According to the PCG, the signing of contract to supply and deliver the two 94-meter Multi Role Response Vessels (MRRVs) was led by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., President and CEO Koji Okura on Friday.
In his remarks, PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia emphasized the importance of the ceremony not just for the department and the agency, but also for the whole country.
“We are making a milestone, not just for the Department of Transportation and Philippine Coast Guard, but also for the Philippines ? acquiring the first-ever biggest ship for the Coast Guard," he said.
"It is a 94-meter multi-role response vessel. It is a big stride to the development of this country in the context of maritime security and maritime safety,” he added.
Tugade said the signing is a breakthrough towards the government's thrust of modernizing and upgrading maritime protection and border patrol.
“The modernization of Philippine Coast Guard has been going fast and quick and very meaningful. In fact, in this effort to make it quick, fast, and very meaningful, the government of Japan has contributed very much. And to which I express my appreciation for your continued support,” he said.
According to the DOTr, the two new MRRVs which are expected to be delivered to the Philippines from Japan on 2022 are part of the PCG Maritime Capability Improvement Project Phase II.
"The project's first phase was completed in August 2018 with the delivery of 10 MRRVs from Japan. Both projects are funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)," said DOTr.
"The two 94-meter MRRVs feature a secured communications system; has a capability for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, detection, tracking, and interdiction; and can be used for search and rescue operations and disaster response," the agency said.
"It also has helideck and a hangar for helicopter operations, an underwater remotely operated vehicle for subsurface search and survey, and two high-speed rubber boats. The vessel also has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles," it added.
During the ceremony, Okura, expressed his desire to work and cooperate with the government in delivering various projects, programs, and initiatives.
“We look forward to work with you all, in this important project and we sincerely appreciate your continuous cooperation to make this project successful," he said.
JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada underscored the significance of the partnership between Japan and the Philippines in boosting economic trade, most especially in the maritime sector.
“Through the time, JICA partnering with PCG is a testament to the strong friendship between our two nations: Japan and the Philippines ? both maritime nations where seaborne trade plays a crucial role in our economic growth," Wada said.
DOTr said "the contract signing was witnessed by DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry De Guzman, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Joel Garcia, and Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino Dabi."
"From the private sector, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Business Department General Manager Kenichiro Mase and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Manila Representative Office Chief Representative Kazunori Yokome witnessed the ceremony," it stated.
"Officials present in the event were DOTr Usec. for Railways Timothy John Batan, Usec. for Aviation and Airports Manuel Tamayo, DOTr OIC Usec. for Administrative Service Artemio Tuazon Jr., Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez, Japan Embassy in the PH Minister for Economic Affairs Masahiro Nakata, JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada and representatives from Toyota Tsusho Corporation," it added. Robina Asido/DMS