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More patrol boats for Coast Guard

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MANILA, Philippines—Aside from the 15 patrol boats it expects to get from Japan and France in late 2014 or early 2015, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) plans to acquire a 52-meter vessel from an unnamed country, the PCG announced Tuesday.

Cmdr. Armand Balilo, also chief of the PCG public affairs office, said the vessel would be “second-hand but in very good condition.”

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“The project has been approved for negotiation by the DOTC. But there’s no timetable yet for the purchase of the patrol boat,” he said. The Coast Guard is a Department of Transportation and Communications-attached agency.

Balilo did not go into detail.

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But on the patrol boats from France, he said “the government is wrapping up talks with its French counterpart.”

“We’re hoping delivery of the new boats would be made late next year or early in 2015,” he said.

Last month, the National Economic and Development Authority approved the procurement of the French patrol boats.

In October 2012, the PCG announced it was buying the patrol vessels—one 82-meter craft and four 24-meter boats—for around 90 million euros ($116 million or P5 billion).

Earlier, Balilo said the new patrol boats would be deployed throughout the archipelago and not just to areas of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) being contested by the Philippines and China.

The Coast Guard, he said, currently had only nine working patrol boats.

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TAGS: Coast Guard, patrol boats, Philippines
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