The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) bared that it is planning to acquire 40 more floating assets including offshore patrol vessels similar to its biggest ship, BRP Gabriela Silang.
Admiral George Ursabia, Coast Guard commandant, said they are working on the acquisition of a total of 44 water crafts that will be utilized to improve their maritime functions.
“The PCG is working on the acquisition of approximately 40 medium-sized floating assets and four more offshore patrol vessels (OPV) similar to the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) to further improve the performance of its mandates,” Ursabia said.
BRP Gabriela Silang is the newest and biggest ship of the Coast Guard. It is an 83.6-meter offshore patrol vessel that can be used for recovery operations and search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and maritime surveillance.
It can also be utilized to respond to marine environmental pollution like oil spills using its containerized anti-pollution equipment. Currently, it is being used to transport local stranded individuals and medical supplies from Metro Manila to other provinces in the country.
Ursabia furthered that aside from acquiring more floating assets, they are also looking to have their own naval architects to maintain the command’s fleet.
“It is but logical for us to have our own competent naval architects to ensure that proper care will be given to these very expensive government assets,” Ursabia said.
“We are also into vessel safety. It is high time for us to address the competence for our port state control officers by having experienced naval architects in our pool of manpower,” the commandant added.
On September 21, five naval architects took oath to begin their service at the Coast Guard.