The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has recently commissioned the three 44-meter Multi Role-Response Vessels and three 7m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) which came from the government of Japan in their continued support to the PCG’s thrust of maritime security in the country, in time for the commemoration of the 116th founding anniversary of PCG last November 20, 2017.
The proper handover and commissioning of the vessels MRRV Capones-4404, MRRV Suluan -4406, and MRRV Sindangan-4407, was witnessed by Department of Transportation Secretary Arturo P. Tugade representing Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; incoming Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Representative Suzumo Ito; and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. The commissioned MRRVs, RHIBs were part of the 10 vessels loaned from Japan through JICA, under the Maritime Safety Improvement Project of the PCG. The said commissioned vessels were just partial of the Japan-loaned vessels, while the remaining four more MRRVs and RHIBs, will be completed sometime in 2018.
the said vessels are part of the JPY600 Million ($5.35M) Non-Project Grant Aid for the PCG from the Japanese Government’s Economic and Social Development Program, which is a result of President Duterte’s request to outgoing Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa during his courtesy call last July 2016 in Malacanang.
“President Duterte” reiterates and reaffirms the special relationship and special friendship he has with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the government of Japan. The President wanted to express his appreciation to the government of Japan for their gifts of support to the Filipino people. We expect that the relationship between Japan and the Philippines will continue to grow,” according to the message of President Duterte delivered by Sec. Tugade. Apart from these newly-acquired vessels, PCG is expecting to get two 92-meter vessels from Japan; and one 82-meter and four 25-meter vessels from the government of France which will also be delivered in 2018.
On his part, PCG officer in charge Commodore Joel S. Garcia personally thanked President Duterte and the Government of Japan for their unwavering support.
“Given the addition of these ships in the PCG’s inventory, the Command continually supports the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the President going after piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing and other form of lawlessness in the Philippine sovereign waters.” Garcia said.
Besides the commissioning and the founding anniversary, the PCG has as well handed over awards to their PCG personnel who has participation during the Marawi siege.
PCG OIC Garcia cited Capt. Ronnie Gil Gavan and Lt. Erwin Tolentino for risking their lives when they served as back up on the sea by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the height of the Marawi siege six months ago.