Manila Bulletin

Coast Guard boosting Philippine Rise patrol


Amulti-role response vessel (MRRV) will soon be deployed to Philippine Rise to further strengthen patrols in the undersea region, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The MRRV, named BRP Cape San Agustin, departed from Yokohama, Japan Friday and is expected to arrive in the country on March 1, Captain Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said.

The vessel was finally sent to the country after it completed a sea trial training conducted by Coast Guard crew in Yokohama.

According to Balilo, BRP Cape San Agustin was named after the Cape San Agustin Lighthouse in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte.

It will be deployed in Eastern Luzon to help enhance patrols in Philippine Rise, Balilo said.

It was further disclosed that another ship from the PCG is now in Bicol and will soon be deployed to Philippine Rise.

One more ship from Cagayan will also be sent to the Philippine Rise.

BRP Cape San Agustin, according to Coast Guard, is the seventh multirole response vessel of the PCG.

Under a grant deal with Japan, through Japan Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Agency (JICA) under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvemen­t Project for the PCG, three more 44-meter MRRVs will arrive soon into the country to complete the 10 loaned vessels.

In November last year, three vessels, namely MRRV-4404 (Capones), MRRV-4406 (Suluan), and MRRV-4407 (Sindangan) were commission­ed in the service of the Coast Guard.

All vessels were named after the primary lighthouse­s of the Philippine­s giving importance to its role as an aid to navigation to the mariners.

Meanwhile, more Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats will be delivered this year, PCG said.

This is part of the JPY600 million or US$5.35-million Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) for the PCG from the Japanese Government’s Economic and Social Developmen­t Program.

PCG is also expecting to receive two 92-meter vessels from Japan and one 82-meter and four 25-meter vessels from France this year.

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