March 4, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippines are stepping up their cooperation in maritime safety and security with the recent inspection of the 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) from Japan that arrived in Manila last February 25, 2022.
The new MRRV, the largest-ever vessel for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), is part of an ongoing cooperation between JICA and the Philippines, "Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II" that aims to beef up the coast guard's capability in responding to maritime incidents in the Philippine waters as well as in search and rescue, maritime environment protection, and other maritime security operations.
97-meter MRRV inspected by Philippine and Japan Officials last February 25, 2022.
Said PCG ship is the first of the two (2) MRRVs under the Phase II of the project where the second vessel is expected to be delivered in May this year.
"These are trying times in maritime, with the pandemic affecting the flow of goods and increasing maritime safety and security challenges. It's important that we come together and ensure that our cooperation results in modernizing and upgrading maritime security and border protection in the Philippines, and even in the region," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative AZUKIZAWA Eigo.
The new MRRV, modeled after the Kunigami-class Patrol Vessel of the Japan Coast Guard, applied Japanese technology to achieve speed, stability, and sea-worthiness during maritime safety operations. Its design allows it to operate in rough seas and undertake international navigation, should the Philippines' international treaty obligations require so. Once it is commissioned to coast guard service, the vessel will be named after Teresa Magbanua, a Filipina school teacher and military leader during the Philippine revolution against Spanish occupation.
Japanese officials and that of the Philippines, including the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and PCG led the inspection this week.
The new MRRV is part of JICA's continuing assistance to Philippine maritime safety and security in addition to training more than 300 Filipino coast guard personnel since the 1970s. In 2018, JICA also completed its assistance to the Philippines with the delivery of ten (10) MRRVs amounting to JPY18.732 billion for maritime safety and security.
Officials from the Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Japan, and Japan International Cooperation Agency during vessel inspection.