MANILA, Philippines — The first of 10 new multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be delivered here in the country in September 2016, which will be used to improve the protection of the Philippines’ seas.
This was after Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Saturday, February 6, led a Philippine delegation in the keel laying and safety prayer ceremony in Yokohama, Japan, for PCG’s new MRRVs.
Keel laying is the first milestone in vessel construction.
“It is high time that the PCG acquires these much-needed MRRVs to support the men and women of the organization in fulfilling their sworn duties,” Abaya said in a statement.
It was in April last year when the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project was awarded to the Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU).
It is being implemented as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project, via a tied loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The loan covers P7.3 billion out of the total project cost of P 8.8 billion ($199 million).
The remaining P1.434 billion ($32.4 million) will be coming from the Philippine counterpart.
“Through this meaningful ceremony, we appreciate the start of construction of the first vessel, and also highlight the full implementation of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) after many years of hard work and close cooperation with Japan,” Abaya added.
The transportation department said succeeding vessels will be delivered quarterly beginning December 2016, until the final MRRV arrives in August 2018.
The 40-meter MRRVs are part of the MSCIP, which aims to strengthen the coastal patrol capabilities of the PCG to respond more effectively to conduct maritime law enforcement activities within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.
The department said the ceremony marks the time that steel cutting works are substantially completed and elements are ready for assembly.
The MRRVs will be deployed to various PCG districts across the Philippines, including Manila, La Union, and Puerto Princesa.
JMU’s winning bid of P4.67 billion ($107.5 million) for the vessels includes the supply of standard spare parts and tools, crew training, ocean transportation, and marine insurance.
The vessels will have a standard cruising speed of 16 knots (30 km/h), and a range of 1,500 nautical miles (2,778 km). – Rappler.com