MANILA - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded to a Japanese firm an P8.8-billion project that entails the construction of 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) meant to protect the country’s maritime jurisdiction.
The vessels will, among others, be used by the Philippine Coast Guard to enforce applicable maritime laws, especially those related to illegal fishing and sea patrol.
“This project is part of government’s program to equip our forces with necessary assets to protect the national marine interest. These 10 new vessels will help the Coast Guard in its functions of maritime law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, and upholding maritime security within Philippines seas,” Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
The project, called Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, was awarded to the Japan Marine United Corp. (JMU). It is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project via a tied loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA will provide a loan facility of P7,373,700,000. The balance of the total P8,807,700,000 project cost will be covered by the Philippines.
The project entails the construction of 10 40-meter MRRVs. The vessels will be delivered in the third quarter of 2016 up to the third quarter of 2018.
JMU’s winning bid of 12,790,000,000 Japanese yen includes the supply of standard spare parts and tools, crew training, ocean transportation, and marine insurance. The vessels will have a standard cruising speed of 16 knots, and a range of 1,500 nautical miles.
The MRRVs will be used, among others, as primary rescue vessels that will be used within the PCG’s areas of responsibility.
The vessels will also assist in the control of oil pollution and marine environment protection.
The DOTC said the MRRVs will be deployed to various Coast Guard districts across the country, including Manila, La Union, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.