The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is set to receive two of its biggest ships yet after a contract signing between the Philippines and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd (Mitsubishi) on Friday.
In his remarks, PCG Commandant, Admiral Joel Garcia said the contract, which dictates the terms for the delivery of two 94-meter multi-role response vessels by 2022, is a landmark achievement for the development of the country’s maritime security and safety.
“We are making a milestone, not just for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and (PCG), but also for the Philippines – acquiring the first-ever biggest ships for the Coast Guard,” Garcia said.
In his keynote speech, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the “breakthrough” in the country’s modernization of maritime protection and border patrol was made through a partnership with the government of Japan.
“The modernization of the PCG has been going fast and quick and very meaningful. In fact, in this effort to make it quick, fast, and very meaningful, the government of Japan has contributed very much,” Tugade said.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Yoshio Wada said the partnership between the two countries, especially in the maritime sector, is crucial for boosting economic trade.
“Through the time, JICA partnering with PCG is a testament to the strong friendship between our two nations: Japan and the Philippines – both maritime nations where seaborne trade plays a crucial role in our economic growth,” Wada said.
The DOTr said in a statement the ships, capable of maximum speeds reaching upwards of 24 knots and an endurance of more than 4,000 nautical miles, would increase the PCG’s capability to respond to maritime incidents in the edges of the country’s exclusive economic zone.
These incidents include search and rescue operations, maritime security operations, and marine environmental protection, it added.
Other officials who witnessed the event include DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, and Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino Dabi.
Mitsubishi was represented by its president and chief executive officer Koji Okura and Business Department general manager Kenichiro Mase, among others. (PNA)