The Philippine government has acquired on Wednesday two more 44m class patrol vessels and four more 7m class high-speed boats during a commissioning and handover ceremony at the Headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila.
Japan Ambassador Koji Haneda attended the event, together with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and PCG Commandant Rear Admiral Elson Hermogino.
The two 44m class patrol vessels, named “Cape San Agustin” and “Cabra” respectively, are the 7th and 8th of the 10 Multi-Role Response Vessels that Tokyo is providing Manila with its soft loan amounting to 18.7 billion yen or roughly around PHP9 billion.
Meanwhile, the four 7m class high-speed boats are part of the 13 high-speed boats provided under Japan’s grant aid worth 600 million yen or about PHP290 million.
At the ceremony, Tugade expressed his appreciation to the Japanese government, adding it was “very meaningful” to have the ceremony held on the birthday of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
According to the Japanese Embassy to the Philippines, the vessels and boats will enhance the Philippines’ capabilities for law enforcement, help in the prevention of maritime accidents and in the conduct of quick rescue operations and contribute to the overall improvement of maritime security in the country.
“The provision of these vessels and boats is expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines,” it said.
By: Joyce Ann L. Rocamora