MANILA, Philippines - The government is using P1.5 billion from its share of the Malampaya funds to fund the repair of Coast Guard assets and the purchase of an islander aircraft to be used for search and rescue operations.
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas said two 56-meter boats, a 35-meter boat, and a helicopter of the Coast Guard will be repaired to improve the Coast Guard’s ability to patrol the country’s sea lanes.
“Merong programa ang Coast Guard ngayon. Unang-una galing sa Malampaya funds. Ito ‘yung share ng national government form the natural gas ng Malampaya na unang-una aayusin ‘yung mga barko ng Coast Guard na sa nayon ay naka-drydock for repairs,” Roxas told reporters.
“Gaganda ‘yung kakayahan ng Coast Guard natin pero limitado pa rin. But definitely, it will improve versus where we are today,” he added.
Asked about the bidding for these assets and services, Roxas said: “We will have to bid it out. The money has been found. We were able to secure the money. We will put out the bidding process. I understand because safety of lives ang issue dito—pinapa-explore ito ngayon— this can be under emergency procedure."