This week, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) witnessed the virtual launching ceremony of one of its two units of 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV) all the way from Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not hinder the celebration of such milestone towards modernization of the third armed service of the Philippines.

The 97-meter MRRVs, modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels, are expected to improve the PCG's maritime security and maritime safety capabilities.

Said vessels measure approximately 97 meters, have a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles. The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

In addition, the two vessels will significantly boost the capabilities of the PCG in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed that the acquisition of new vessels is a breakthrough towards the government's thrust of modernizing and upgrading the country's maritime safety and border protection.

“The modernization of Philippine Coast Guard has been going fast and quick and very meaningful. In fact, in this effort to make it quick, fast, and very meaningful, the government of Japan has contributed very much. And to which I express my appreciation for your continued support,” Secretary Tugade said.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! The first 97-meter MRRV will arrive in Manila by March 2022, while the second unit will arrive two months later or by May 2022.