PCG: Future BRP Melchora Aquino is coming home June 1

Published May 27, 2022, 1:09 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The second 97-meter-long, multi-role response vessel (MRRV) of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is coming home to the Philippines on June 1.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) holds a send-off ceremony for the future BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) at the Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan on May 27, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

The MRRV-9702, sister ship of BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701), departed the Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan on Friday, May 27. The sailing crew was led by Commander Patrick Babag, commanding officer of the MRRV-9702.

Admiral Artemio Abu, PCG commandant, said it will take around five days before the vessel reaches the Philippine shore. It is expected to arrive at the Port Area in Manila. Upon completion of additional tests, it will be commissioned as the BRP Melchora Aquino.

The two 97-meter-long vessels are the biggest and most advanced assets of the PCG to date.

Abu said the MRRV-9702 will “serve as the stalwart protector of our maritime reserve, and instrument for peace and tranquility within our territorial waters.”

“This ship will become a serve as a symbol of hope and a source of national pride of our maritime nation. It will also serve as an instrument in promoting the rules of law at sea and enhancing amity among neighboring nations in the region,” said Abu, who graced the send-off ceremony in Japan.

Other attendees included Adm. George Ursabia Jr. (Ret.), Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Maritime; Koji Mori, Mitsubishi Shipyard’s Vice President and Regional Representative for Shimonoseki; and Mahabsar Lucman, Political Section Attaché of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Prior to the event, the MRRV-9702 completed the Harbor Acceptance Test (HAT) and inspection on Thursday. The vessel evaluation officially ran from May 19 to 26.

Abu said the HAT team worked closely with the shipbuilder to ensure conformance according to the technical specifications of the project contract.