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Japan, PH sign Exchange of Notes for acquisition of five multi-role response vessels for the PCG
Japan, PH sign Exchange of Notes for acquisition of five multi-role response vessels for the PCG
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Japan, PH sign Exchange of Notes for acquisition of five multi-role response vessels for the PCG
by Karen Ow-Yong17 May 2024
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines ENDO Kazuya visited the 97-meter patrol vessel BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), the second ship of her class of patrol vessels operated by the Philippine Coast Guard on Tuesday. Aside from BRP Melchora Aquino, the PCG also has another MRRV – BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) and are both currently active in maritime security and safety operations. (Photo courtesy of Embassy of Japan)

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Embassy of Japan signed today the Exchange of Notes for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase III), in a ceremony attended by DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo and Japanese Ambassador ENDO Kazuya.

The signed Exchange of Notes will finance the provision of an additional five (5) 97m class multi-role response vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), with a maximum loan amount of JPY 64.5 billion and an interest rate of 0.3% per annum (with 0.2% per annum for consulting services) and a repayment period of 40 years, including a 10-year grace period.

(Photo courtesy of Embassy of Japan)

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In his speech, Ambassador Endo said that the additional grant is expected to contribute to improving maritime safety in the Philippines by enhancing the capacity of the PCG to efficiently conduct maritime rescue, law enforcement and other operations.

“Securing safe navigation as well as free and open maritime order in this region is imperative. Japan has provided the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with ten (10) 44-meter-class and two (2) 97-meter-class multipurpose vessels in the first 2 two phases of the MSCIP. These vessels were expected, and indeed are used to enhance PCG’s ability to conduct maritime rescue and law enforcement operations in a timely and appropriate manner, contributing to the overall maritime safety of the Philippines,” Endo said.

The addition of high frequency communication systems for the ships and onshore facilities will further ensure the effective operation of the multipurpose vessels, he added.

Ambassador Endo also highlighted the current situation on the seas surrounding the Philippines and noted the seriousness and volatility of the issue on maritime awareness and safety, which PCG stands on the frontlines.

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According to Endo, it is PCG who is “standing in the frontlines protecting our common interests and rules-based maritime order.”

On Tuesday, Endo made a courtesy visit onboard the 97-meter patrol vessel BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), the second ship of her class of patrol vessels operated by the PCG.

According to the Embassy of Japan, Ambassador Endo inspected the bridge of the vessel and was briefed by PCG Commandant Ronnie Gil Gavan on coast guard operations in the waters surrounding the Philippines.

In a statement, Endo conveyed his appreciation that the Japan-supplied patrol vessels, including BRP Melchora Aquino, are contributing to coast guard operations within Philippine territorial waters.

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BRP Melchora Aquino is a PCG patrol vessel supplied by the Japanese Government under the Maritime Safety Capacity Improvement Project (Phase 2) in 2022, and is being utilized by the PCG for search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and other operations.

Aside from BRP Melchora Aquino, the PCG also has another MRRV – BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) and are both currently active in maritime security and safety operations.

“The Notes signed today will provide five more multi-purpose vessels which are the largest vessels in the PCG. We hope that this support will further contribute to ensure a Rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific,” Endo stated.

“Going forward, Japan will steadily continue its support for the PCG's capacity building,” Endo added.

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