DoTC to buy P500M worth of rescue boats, equipmentBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The government is acquiring over P500 million worth of life rafts, jet skis, and other rescue equipment to improve the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) ability to respond to natural disasters that frequent the country.
In an invitation published on Tuesday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said the new equipment would help the PCG watch over 36,289 kilometers of coastline and 1,830 square kilometers of sea nationwide.
DoTC seeks to reverse this situation by not only increasing the number of PCG boats but by enhancing also our Coast Guard men’s capability for rescue and relief operations,” Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas said.
“The government will accomplish this by increasing the number of various types of rescue boats that will enable the PCG to respond to any kind of situation and emergencies in different bodies of waters, whatever the condition,” he said.
The Coast Guard has 237 detachments around the country. However, the PCG, which operates under the DoTC and not the Armed Forces, only has 63 lifeboats.
“With the purchase of the new rubber boats, it is expected that our travelers on our sea lanes will be at an average distance of five kilometers to the nearest rubber boat station, a great improvement from the present 50 kilometers,” Roxas said.
Among the items to be acquired are 300 aluminum, V-shaped hull boats, 81 rigid hull inflatable boats, 50 rubber boats, six jet skis, 2,586 common life vests, 1,724 flares, 862 handheld marine radios, 862 life vests and 431 megaphones.
The Coast Guard said the rescue boats must subscribe to the designs and specifications of Special Forces Commando units and conform to the standards set by the European Union and the United States.
Each rescue boat must be equipped with a megaphone, two handheld marine type radio, two life vests, six common life vests, and four flares.
The equipment will be worth P521 million. The deadline for submission of bids for the supply contract was set for August 8.