As part of its continuing support to the Philippines’ maritime safety and security, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) handed over additional two new multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) in a commissioning ceremony led by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The new MRRVs Cape San Agustin and Cabrawere the 7th and 8th vessel that form part of the JICA-assisted 18.732 billion yen development cooperation under Phase I of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project with the PCG to provide ten 44-meter MRRVs.
The new vessels are designed with bulletproof navigation bridges and advanced communications monitoring technology to support the PCG’s coastal surveillance capability.
“Through the new vessels, JICA aims to further help the PCG in strengthening its functions in maritime law enforcement and safety as well as marine resource protection,” said JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada.
As of February 21, 2018, PCG reported that 211 out of 263 missions or 80% of the missions conducted by the six (6) vessels were related to maritime security, such as conduct of regular patrols and surveillance in Mindanao area in support to the government’s thrust against anti-terrorism. In fact, one of the vessels was successfully deployed during the Marawi siege while other missions were related to marine environmental protection and evacuation of injured crews/stranded passengers aboard distressed ships.
Since 1980s, JICA has been a longstanding trusted partner of the PCG through various Official Development Assistant (ODA) schemes including human resource development, enhancement of coastal communication system, and rehabilitation of lighthouses and buoys among others to strengthen its capability on maritime safety and security.