August 23, 2018
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) handed over today the last two of the ten (10) 44-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as part of its support to Philippine maritime safety and security.
The MRRVs are part of the JICA-PCG Maritime Safety and Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) amounting to 18.732 billion yen Official Development Assistance (ODA) signed during the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo in 2013.
"Maritime safety and security is a vital element of JICA and the Philippines development cooperation and trusted partnership. With the completion of the MSCIP, we're confident that our nations' bilateral ties and friendship will remain as strong as ever," said JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada during the commissioning ceremony this week.
JICA also announced its continuing support to the PCG with the construction and delivery of two more 90-meter MRRVs in next few years.
As of early 2018, the PCG has used the MRRVs in 80% of its missions or 211 out of the 263 missions related to maritime security operations. So far, the MRRVs were used in (1) search and rescue operations of fishermen and passengers in Cebu, Zamboanga, Mindoro, and Zambales; (2) maritime security operations during the ASEAN Summit in 2017 and in Benham Rise as well as piracy attacks in Basilan; (3) apprehensions of smuggling supply; (4) medical evacuation operations of foreign cruise ships in Bataan and Cavite; and (5) maritime patrol in Lake Lanao during the Marawi siege.
Since the 1980s, JICA has been supporting the PCG through various ODA schemes including human resource development, enhancement of coastal communication system, and rehabilitation of buoys and lighthouses to name a few as support to Philippine maritime safety and security.