ORTIGAS CENTER, Pasig City (DWDD) – To boost the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s capability to perform its mission of maritime security and safety, maritime search and rescue, marine environmental protection, as well as offshore patrol of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) signed a contract with maritime technology expert and ship-builder, OCEA S.A. of France, for the acquisition of five (5) brand new high-speed Coast Guard Patrol Boats.
In a ceremony held last Wednesday, 6 August 2017, DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and French Embassy Representative Laurent Estrade witnessed the contract signing between DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe A. Judan and OCEA Maritime Safety and Security Director Fabrice Weinbach for the supply and maintenance of Coast Guard patrol boats.
Under the Contract, OCEA will supply, deliver and maintain four (4) brand new 24-meter Fast Patrol Boats (FPB) and one (1) brand new 84-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) being acquired by DOTr for the use of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). The Contract, amounting to €97,032,507, is part of a French ODA loan, which was previously used in part for the GMA RoRo Ports project.
Following the contract signing, the Transportation Chief expressed appreciation to the government of France for helping the Philippines’ maritime capability and supporting its efforts to make Philippine seas safe and secure from lawless elements.
For his part, Estrade reaffirmed the French government’s strong commitment and support to Philippine government’s resolve to improve its maritime capability. “We are very pleased to witness the signing of this very important contract,” he said.
Meanwhile, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino H. Dabi explained that the first FPB will be delivered after eight months. The remaining FPBs will arrive in succession in the Philippines following a 45-day delivery gap. The OPV, he said, is expected to arrive in Manila 23 months after the signing of the contract.
Dabi said these high-speed sea vessels will be more effective in providing maritime security in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Rise, and the Mindanao seas. The FPBs alone, he stressed, can run from 25 to 30 knots, making the PCG capable of addressing incidents of piracy in the seas “down south.”
“With these additional sea assets, the Philippine Coast Guard can be more effective in performing its mission on maritime security and safety,” he said.
The contract signing was also witnessed by DOTr Undersecretary for Administration and Finance, Atty. Gary V. De Guzman, and key officials of the PCG and OCEA. DOTR/MCAG