Philippines To Purchase 5 Coast Guard Ships From Japan

Philippines Strikes P23.85 Billion Deal for Acquisition of Five Japanese-Made Coast Guard Ships

COAST GUARD SHIPS – The Philippines is set to buy five (5) Japanese-made coast guard ships in a P23.85 billion agreement.

The Philippine government ought to bolster its assistance and defense of Filipino fishermen who face the consequences of territorial disputes. The Philippines is exercising caution in its engagements with China regarding the conflict.

In recent statements, the Philippine government reiterated its stance of not seeking confrontation with China but rather asserting its rights in response to reported barriers imposed by Chinese authorities on Filipino fishermen.

Photo Source: Inquirer

According to an Inquirer report, as tensions rise in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippines has finalized a deal with Japan to acquire an additional five patrol vessels. This agreement, inked on Friday, includes a loan of around P23.85 billion, formalized by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Japanese Ambassador Endo Kazuya.

West Philippine Sea
Photo source: Philippine Star

As per a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announcement, the ships will bolster the maritime operational capabilities of the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG), particularly in combating “transnational crimes.” The acquisition of five more patrol vessels is part of the PCG’s Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase III.

“The MSCIP III involves the acquisition of five additional units of 97-meter offshore patrol capable multi-role response vessels coupled with the development of the required support facilities for the PCG and is valued at JPY 64.38 billion [or] approximately PhP 23.85 billion,” the DFA said in a statement.

After the signing of the loan agreement, Manalo briefly spoke, expressing the Philippines’ appreciation to the Japanese government.

“This occasion signifies not only the deepening of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan but also underscores our unwavering commitment to enhance our maritime safety capabilities for the benefit of our nation and the broader maritime community,” Manalo said, as quoted in the DFA press release.

Photo Source: Asia Times

The ceremony was attended by delegates from the PCG, Department of Finance, Department of Transportation, and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Tokyo stands as one of the top providers of foreign assistance to the Philippines.

The PCG currently owns two 97-meter patrol ships, a fleet considered inadequate for adequately patrolling the vast waters surrounding the archipelagic country.

In recent months, PCG vessels have encountered multiple collisions with Chinese coast guard ships near contested reefs in the South China Sea, an area largely claimed by Beijing.

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