The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s first 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) has departed Shimonoseki Shipyard, Japan and now on its way to the Philippines on 21 February 2022. After complying with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19, the PCG officers and crew on board MRRV-9701 will join the organization in honoring the arrival of the Coast Guard’s largest asset to date at the vicinity waters off Manila Bay. Afterwards, it will be commissioned into the Philippine Coast Guard service as “Barko Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) TERESA MAGBANUA (MRRV-9701)” in March 2022.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s largest vessel acquisition to date, Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV)-9701 conducted its official sea trials at the vicinity waters off Japan on 25 to 28 January 2022. Sea trials are initiated to measure a vessel’s performance and general seaworthiness. The test included gauging the vessel’s speed, maneuverability, functionality of equipment, and safety features. These MRRV’s modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels are expected to improve the PCG’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities.
MRRV-9701 is the first of two 97-meter vessel projects financed by the Japanese government under Phase II of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) between the Republic of the Philippines through the Department of Transportation – Philippines (DOTr) and Japan in October 2016. The sea trials were conducted by the shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd; Vessel Consultant for MSCIP Phase II project, Japan Marine Science Incorporated; Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK) Classification Society; various equipment makers; and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) MRRV-9701 officers and crew.
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 Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II (MSCIP Phase 2) is a Japanese-assisted project funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounting to approximately JPY 16,455,000,000 (JPY 16.5 billion). The contract between the DOTr and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the design, construction, and delivery of the two 97-meter MRRVs amounting to JPY 14,550,000,000 (JPY 14.6 billion) was signed on 27 December 2019 and became effective on 08 May 2020.