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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) today launched its two 97-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) at the Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan, which are expected to boost patrols in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The vessels are part of the Department of Transportation’s (DoTr) Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) phase II.

The two units which are expected to be delivered to the country next year will become the PCG’s largest floating assets. Currently, the PCG’s biggest patrol vessel is the 83-meter off-shore patrol vessel BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) that was made in France.

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The MRRV which were modeled after Japan Cost Guard’s Kunigami-class vessel have specifications that include 24 knots speed and 4,000 nautical miles endurance which gives it a capacity of longer patrol operations in the country’s vast maritime jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea, Philippine Rise and the southern part of the country.

Undersecretary for Maritime, Admiral George V. Ursabia, Jr. said once commissioned, the two vessels will strengthen the PCG’s capabilities in terms of maritime search and rescue (SAR), maritime law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response operations.

During the virtual launching ceremony, Ursabia who represented transportation secretary Arthur Tugade recognized the cooperation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japanese government and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. For the modernization of PCG.

Meanwhile, PCG commandant Admiral Leopoldo Laroya thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Tugade for the support they have given for the improvement of PCG’s capacity.

Laroya likewise ensured that the new vessels will be used to strengthen the security and safety as well as implementation of the rule of law within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines.

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