To boost maritime safety in the country, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) launched in Cebu province last week a 1.5-billion-yen vessel traffic management system (VTMS) funded through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“Maritime safety is indispensable to Philippine development. The VTMS technology can help ensure maritime safety along the Mactan Channel, which has one of the busiest maritime traffic in the Philippines, and facilitate movement of people and goods efficiently,” JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito said in a statement.
“Central Visayas is also a potential growth center with its creative people, rich culture and natural resources. By facilitating safety in its ports and seas, the region can help sustain the country’s economic growth and create jobs in the country,” he added.
According to JICA, the project was the result of Japan’s cooperation with PCG to address safety, following a ferry accident in Cebu’s Talisay City in 2013.
Radar stations were built in Talisay and Bantolinao Point, and inter-bridges and a VTMS control center were also installed at the Coast Guard District Central Visayas headquarters in the province, JICA said.
Besides the VTMS, JICA also provided communication systems for vessels and district offices of the PCG, and for boats of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
“The enhancements on the PCG coastal communication system can help address traffic in ports and address maritime crimes and accidents,” JICA said.