One of two 97-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs), the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) biggest acquisitions, arrived at Port Area, Manila on Saturday. The MRRVs are modeled after the Japan Coast Guard Kunigami-class vessels and will be deployed to support the ongoing operations of the PCG Task Force Pagsasanay (Exercises) that conducts anti-terrorism and anti-piracy simulation. The MRRV-9701 has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles, and is capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols, according to a news release. 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.
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.
DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime, Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. and PCG Officer-in-Charge, Vice Admiral Eduardo Fabricante, led officers and personnel in welcoming the ship. “Lubos po kaming nagagalak dahil nandito na ang pinakamalaking barko ng Philippine Coast Guard. Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating mahal na Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte at kay Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade sa kanilang patuloy na pag-agapay at pag-suporta sa modernisasyon ng (We are very happy with the biggest ship of the Philippine Coast Guard. We thank our dear President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Transportation Secretary Art Tugade for their continued support to modernize the) PCG,” Fabricante said during the welcome ceremony.