MANILA, Philippines – Amid ongoing territorial disputes with China, President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will loan $184 million for the purchase of 10 Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels.
The President, in a press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, announced that the agreement with JICA has been signed.
“Nalagdaan na po ang 184 million dollars na pautang mula sa Japan International Cooperation Agency, para makabili ng sampung Coast Guard vessels na magbabantay sa ating mga baybayin,” he said.
(“The $184-million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, for the purchase of ten Coast Guard vessels that will guard our shores, has been signed,” he said.)
Aquino was recently in Japan for the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit.
He said the vessels, which are expected to be delivered by 2015, will boost the country’s maritime security.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said the PCG will receive ten 40-meter multi-purpose vessels.
“With the purchase of new vessels, the PCG could upgrade its current fleet that will strengthen its task of defending the country’s exclusive economic zone. The new sea crafts, once turned over to the PCG, will do patrols in several contested territories in the West Philippine Sea,” the report said.