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The Philippine Coast Guard held a Commissionship Ceremony to its first multi-role response vessel MRRV-4401 Tubbataha during the celebration of its 115th Founding Anniversary with the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Guest of Honor and Speaker, Department of Transportation Secretary Atty. Arthur P Tugade and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines at Headquarters Philippine Coast Guard in Manila at 3PM this afternoon, October 12.

As a tradition, a vessel is being commissioned to grant her an identity to belong to a service and to authorize her to perform the mandated mission of the agency, fly the national ensign, jack flag and the commission penant.

Tubbataha was proclaimed as Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Tubbataha, the first of the ten (10) multi-role response vessels which was built in Yokohama Shipyard in Japan.

MRRVs features include fire monitors, night vision camera, radio direction finder, a work boat, and the bullet-proof navigational bridge.

The second MRRV is scheduled to sail to Philippines in December this year and will be named after Lighthouse Malabrigo in Lobo, Batangas.

The acquisition of the MRRVs is under the project called the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project which was awarded by the transportation department to the Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU). It is being implemented as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project, via a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The loan facility covers P7,373,700,000.00 out of the total project of P8,807,700,000.00. The balance will be sourced from the Philippine counterpart of P1,434,000,000.00.

Under the project terms, the MRRVs will be used by the PCG for the following purposes:

· Primary rescue vessels within the PCG District’s area of responsibility (AOR) when the extent of the disaster is beyond the capability of floating assets deployed within the area;

· Assistance in the control of oil pollution and protection of the marine environment;

· Enforcement of all applicable maritime laws within the designated AOR, particularly relating to illegal fishing and sea patrol;

· Service as platform for rapid response during relief operations in the area;

· Transport of personnel and logistical support.

The MRRVs will be deployed to various PCG Districts across the country, including Manila, La Union and Puerto Princesa.

JMU’s winning bid is in the amount of 12,790,000,000.00 Japanese Yen, and includes the supply of standard spare parts and tools, crew training, ocean transportation, and marine insurance. The vessels will have a standard cruising speed of 25 knots and a range of 1,500 nautical miles.

Another highlight of the anniversary is the presentation of awards and recognition to selected coast guard personnel, units, and individual entities who have rendered extra-ordinary achievements and invaluable services which contributed to the successful accomplishment of the PCG’s mission and functions.