JAPANESE shipbuilder Japan Marine United Corp. (JMU) has started assembling the first of the 10 new multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya attended the keel laying and safety prayer ceremony marking the start of construction of the vessels in Yokohama, Japan on February 6.
The first vessel is expected to be delivered to the Philippines in September 2016. Succeeding vessels will be delivered quarterly beginning December 2016 until the final MRRV arrives in August 2018.
The 40-meter MRRVs are part of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP), which aims to strengthen the coastal patrol capabilities of the PCG to respond more effectively to conduct maritime law enforcement activities within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.
“It is high time that the PCG acquire these much-needed MRRVs to support the men and women of the organization in fulfilling their sworn duties,” Abaya said in his speech at the event.
“Through this meaningful ceremony, we appreciate the start of construction of the first vessel, and also highlight the full implementation of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project after many years of hard work and close cooperation with Japan,” he added.
Abaya also spoke about sustaining the country’s partnership with Japan in strengthening maritime capabilities.
“This capacity-building project demonstrates the goodwill, long-standing friendship and mutual cooperation with Japan. It is our wish that we will continue to work toward more strategic partnerships, allowing our nations to achieve our respective and shared goals,” the DOTC chief said.