DOTC eyes P500-M purchase of search-and-rescue equipment

Lala Rimando
The Transportation Department said it will accept bids for the P500 million program to purchase rubber boats and other equipment to boost rescue and relief efforts during disasters

MANILA, Phililppines – To boost the Philippine Coast Guard’s rescue and relief capability at sea and flooded areas during times of calamity, the transportation department announced that it will purchase at least 300 units of rubber boats and other equipment.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, March 20, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas said bidders are encouraged to join the P500 million procurement program that will be open by April.

The winning bids will be announced by June, in time for the rainy season.  

“We want to upgrade the PCG’s rescue and relief capability to a level where they can protect our sea lanes and flooded areas when the rainy season comes,” Roxas said.  

The bids for the P500 million project will cover the purchase of:

  • 300 rubber or aluminum boats (excluding about 40 additional rubber boats to be purchased using PCG fund)
  • 81 rigid-hull inflatable boats
  • self-contained rescue units including 2,286 common life vest (6 units per boat), 762 regular life vests with sturdier survival kits for Coast Guard personnel (2 per boat); 762 VHF handheld marine-type radio devices (2  units for each of the 381 boats) and 381 megaphones (1 per boat)
  • 6 units of jetski

“Once we have the new rubber boats, there will be quicker rescue of sea mishaps. People will be at an average of 5 kilometers to the nearest rubber boat station–a great improvement from the current 50 kilometers,” Roxas said.

The Coast Guard currently has only 63 rubber boats deployed as follows: 10 in PCG main headquarter in Manila, 30 in various PCG districts, 20 in different stations and 3 in various PCG vessels.

To cope during emergency situations, the Coast Guard personnel borrow boats from fishermen, or other private entities, Roxas said. The downside, however, is that there are delays in response time, making rescue operations less efficient.

“After the procurement project, each station and detachment that did not have a single boat before will have at least a rubber or aluminum boat,” the transportation chief stressed. –

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