PH Coast Guard to receive 5 vessels from Japan
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will receive five additional multi-role response vessels from Japan within the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., according to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Thursday.
The NEDA, chaired by Marcos, approved big ticket projects, including the new vessels, which were acquired with a P29.3 billion official development assistance loan from Japan.
“The NEDA Board approved Phase 3 of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard. This project involves the design, construction, and delivery of five units of multi- role response vessels or MRRVs, each with a length of 97 meters. This project also includes a five-year integrated logistics support,” said Balisacan in a Palace briefing.
Balisacan said that the vessels will be delivered within 2027 to 2028.
According to Balisacan, this could improve the PCG to combat illegal activities and enforce maritime laws in Philippine waters.
However, Balisacan reiterated that the MRRVs are not for military purposes, as they could also be used for disaster response. He still acknowledged that the vessels could be used for the rotation and resupply missions in the West Philippine Sea.
“Because they are also the kind of vessels that could navigate, for example, rough seas, for the delivery of supplies in those areas.. As of now we only have two of those vessels and could you imagine how big the country is? And an archipelagic country? So with the acquisition of the five vessels, we can cover more areas,” he said.
The acquisition comes amid rising territorial tensions in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China.
Chinese vessels had hit Philippine vessels in October, prompting widespread condemnation from the international community.
Big ticket projects
Other big ticket projects approved by Neda include the P28.2 billion Pang-Agraryong Tulay Para sa Bagong Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka Bridges Project under the Department of Agrarian Reform, which aims to create 350 modular steel bridges.
Through the project, 350,000 households may have improved income and productivity.
According to Balisacan, the TPLEX Extension Project in La Union was also approved by the Neda.