Japan will provide to the Philippines nine more multi-role response vessels (MRRV) to improve the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s capabilities in patrol and search and rescue operations.
The BRP Tubbataha, which was commissioned on Wednesday at the Port of Manila, is the first of 10 40-meter MRRVs provided by Japan through its Official Development Assistance (ODA).
The remaining nine vessels will be delivered until 2018, a Japan embassy official said.
The Tubbataha was commissioned during the 115th anniversary of the PCG, with Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and President Duterte leading the event.
In his speech, the President thanked Japan for its support.
Japan has long supported the initiatives of the PCG to enhance its law enforcement operations, he said.
Japan’s other assistance to the PCG include the provision of rescue equipment, training facilities, communication systems and maritime safety equipment.
In 2014, Japan extended a 1.152-billion yen grant aid to the PCG for the installation of a satellite-based communication system and vessel traffic management system to manage vessel movement and traffic at ports.
An expert from the Japan Coast Guard has also been dispatched to the PCG to provide technical assistance.
Through the ODA projects, the strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines has been further enhanced, a PCG official said.