By Raymund Antonio
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is set to formally commission into service tomorrow, March 28, two more ships acquired through a loan from Japan.
PCG spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said the ships to be commissioned are the 44-meter multirole response vessels (MRRVs) named BRP Cape San Agustin and BRP Cabra.
BRP Cape San Agustin was named after a cultural heritage situated in Mindanao while BRP Cabra was named after an old lighthouse in Cabra Island in Lubang, Occidental Mindoro, according to PCG.
These MRRVs were part of the government’s loan agreement worth P7.3 billion with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade will lead the joint commissioning ceremony at 9 a.m. at the PCG main headquarters in Port Area, Manila.
Joining him as one of the key attendees is Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda.
According to Department of Transportation,, commissioning is a tradition, which “grants the vessel an authority to belong to a service and authorize her to perform the mandated mission of the agency.”
PCG said the new MRRVs will join the first six ships from Japan aimed to address the country’s maritime concerns along its coasts. The older vessels were also acquired through an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) loan from JICA.
The Coast Guard said these MRRVs have “fire monitors, night vision camera, radio direction finder, work boat, and bullet-proof navigation bridge.