20 September 2016
JCG large patrol vessel (photo : Takaaki)
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the acquisition of two (2) heavy weather, high endurance 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs) under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) for the Philippine Coast Guard, Phase II. The project will cost PhP8 billion. Vessels are expected to be delivered by November 2020 and March 2021 for each vessel.
The approval was made, September 14, during the first meeting of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board under the Duterte administration. NEDA is an independent cabinet-level agency of the Philippine government responsible for economic development and planning. It is headed by the President of the Philippines as chairman of the NEDA board, with the Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, concurrently NEDA Director-General, as vice-chairman.
The project will “provide the PCG with vessels with a cruising range capability of 4,000 nautical miles, can be used in Sea-State 6 (wave height of up to 6 meters) in rough sea condition, and are capable to conduct continuous maritime patrol up to 15 days at 15 knots,” NEDA said.
“Each vessel, as claimed by PCG, will enable them to recover as much as 500 passengers in the event of a maritime disaster, as well as provide the country with wider maritime coverage for strategic and national security purposes,” NEDA added.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Duterte, during their meeting at the sidelines of ASEAN Summit last week, talk about the supply of two large-sized patrol ships for Philippine Coast Guard.
Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has granted the Philippine government Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the first phase of Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in 2013. The said project is providing the PCG with 10 44-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs). The first MRRV was already delivered, succeeding deliveries are expected every quarter until completion of 10 units in 2018.