Philippine Coast Guard commissions 3 new ships
Three new vessels acquired through a loan from Japan were commissioned into service yesterday by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and were likely to be deployed to patrol the West Philippine Sea, according to PCG officials.
The new 44-meter boats, called multirole response vessels (MRRVs), were christened as BRP Capones, BRP Suluan and BRP Sindangan.
Ceremonies for the vessels’ commissioning coincided with the 116th anniversary of the PCG attended by Japanese officials.
Capt. Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said the MRRVs were likely to be used for patrol sorties in the West Philippine Sea as relations with the Chinese Coast Guard, which maintains a presence in the area, had improved.
“Our relations with the Chinese Coast Guard are improving,” Balilo said. “We now have a hotline communication mechanism to combat maritime crimes, particularly illegal drugs,” he said.
The three vessels were delivered early this year and part of a package of 10 MRRVs, worth P4.67 billion, that was being financed by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Three older MRRVs—BRP Tubbataha, BRP Malabrigo and BRP Malapascua—had been on patrol duty in the West Philippine Sea and were now deployed to Mindanao.
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