THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded a contract to build 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVS) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to a Japanese shipbuilder last week.
The DOTC said the P8.81-billion Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project was awarded to the Japan Marine United Corp. (JMU) to enhance the PCG’s ability to protect Philippine seas.
“This project is part of the government’s program to equip our forces with necessary assets to protect the national marine interest,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
It is being implemented as an official development assistance (ODA) project via a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Delivery of the 40-meter MRRVs will be staggered from the third quarter of 2016 up to the third quarter of 2018.
“These 10 new vessels will help the Coast Guard in its functions of maritime law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, and upholding maritime security within Philippines seas,” Abaya said.
The loan facility covers P7.37 billion out of the total project cost of P8.81 billion. The balance will be sourced from the Philippine counterpart of P1.43 billion.
DOTC said that under the project terms, the MRRVs will be used by the PCG as primary rescue vessels within the PCG districts’ areas of responsibility (AOR) when the extent of the disaster is beyond the capability of floating assets deployed within the area.
The vessels will also be used for assistance in the control of oil pollution and protection of the marine environment, enforcement of applicable maritime laws particularly relating to illegal fishing and sea patrol, serve as platform for rapid response during relief operations in the area, and for transport of personnel and logistical support.
The MRRVs will be deployed to various PCG districts across the country, including Manila, La Union, and Puerto Princesa.
JMU’s winning bid is in the amount of 12.79 billion yen (P4.76 billion) and includes the supply of standard spare parts and tools, crew training, ocean transportation, and marine insurance. The vessels will have a standard cruising speed of 16 knots, and a range of 1,500 nautical miles.