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6月11日のまにら新聞から

Philippines signs loan with Japan to buy five more 97-meter MRRVs

[ 419 words|2024.6.11|英字 (English) ]

By Jaspearl Tan

The Philippines signed an official development assistance (ODA) loan agreement with Japan to buy five more 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) for the Philippine Coast Guards (PCG).

This procurement is part of the third phase of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP), with a loan amounting to 64,380 million yen.

Under the first two phases, the government was able to acquire 12 MRRVs, ten of which are 44-meter vessels while two are 97-meter ships. This would bring the total acquired vessels from Japan to 17.

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto and Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) Philippine Office Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto signed the deal at the Department of Finance (DOF).

In a speech, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Endo Kazuya said he hoped that the turnover of the new vessels to the PCG would help in maintaining the peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

“As the situation surrounding the Philippines has become increasingly critical, PCG is standing on the front lines to preserve our shared interests and the rules-based maritime order,” Endo said.

“After today's signing of the loan agreement, I expect that the construction of five new Multi-Role Response vessels should be started and completed as soon as possible. By handover of those vessels to the PCG, we hope to contribute even more to maintaining a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region,” he added.

Endo said that Japan is committed to continue to aid the PCG in its capacity-building.

Sakamoto said that the signing of the loan agreement was “a clear testament to the profound value of our unwavering joint efforts, especially with PCG, in saving human lives, protecting the marine environment, and maintaining peace among others”.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said that the additional MRRVs would be “crucial for PCG’s strategic response to tensions in the West Philippine Sea.”

“When we maintain a maximum tolerance policy, these new vessels can effectively leverage the confidence of PCG’s frontliners tasked with asserting our legal rights over our exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and be able to protect our fishermen, and enhance our patrol and disaster response capability,” he added.

Recto said that the vessels would “help steer us towards the safe harbor of economic security and prosperity for the Filipino people”.

“These vessels will dramatically enhance the PCG's ability to prevent piracy, protect the environment, counter smuggling, and immediately respond to search and rescue operations. They will not only help strengthen our national security but also complement our infrastructure modernization program to spur rapid inclusive growth,” he said.DMS