MANILA, May 13 (PNA) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) wants two of the 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) it has ordered from Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) to be upgraded from the 40-meter to the 80-meter class.
This was disclosed by PCG spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo in an interview with the PNA.
He added that MRRVs measuring 80-meters will give the Coast Guard the capability to conduct longer patrols, thus ensuring the country’s maritime security.
Balilo said the PCG is planning to talk with the Japanese shipbuilder to discuss whether this is feasible.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) last April has awarded the contract to build and deliver 10 40-meter MRRVs to the JMU.
Staggered deliveries will take place from the third quarter of 2016 up to the third quarter of 2018.
“This project is part of government’s program to equip our forces with necessary assets to protect the national marine interest. These 10 new vessels will help the Coast Guard in its functions of maritime law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, and upholding maritime security within Philippines seas,” DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya said.
The project, formally called the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, was awarded by the transportation department to the JMU during the second week of April.
It is being implemented as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project, via a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The loan facility covers Php7,373,700,000 out of the total project of Php8,807,700,000. The balance will be sourced from the Philippine counterpart of Php1,434,000,000.
Under the project terms, the MRRVs will be used by the PCG for the following purposes:
- Primary rescue vessels within the PCG Districts’ areas of responsibility (AOR) when the extent of the disaster is beyond the capability of floating assets deployed within the area.
- Assistance in the control of oil pollution and protection of the marine environment.
- Enforcement of applicable maritime laws within the designated AOR, particularly relating to illegal fishing and sea patrol.
- Service as platform for rapid response during relief operations in the area.
- Transport of personnel and logistical support.
The MRRVs will be deployed to various PCG Districts across the country, including Manila, La Union, and Puerto Prinsesa.
JMU’s winning bid is in the amount of 12,790,000,000 Japanese Yen, and 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, and a range of 1,500 nautical miles. (PNA)