Japan and the Philippines have unveiled a 94-meter long Multi-Role Response Vessel that will be turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard next year to boost its maritime patrol activities.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, and Admiral George Villareal Ursabia, Jr., Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard attended the virtual launching ceremony held at the shipyard of the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Japan on Monday.
“Attended the virtual launching ceremony of the 94m class patrol vessel with DOTrPH Sec. Tugade. This huge vessel was unveiled through a nautical tradition of blessing the ship and its crew on its voyage, and will become the PCG’s largest flagship in early 2022,” Koshikawa said, in a tweet, confirming the unveiling of the 94-meter MRRV.
The two 94m-MRRVs were built using a ¥16.5-billion fund from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and would become the largest flagships of the PCG’s fleet.
During the ceremony, Koshikawa stressed that the 94m MRRV will be another “milestone” in the long-standing maritime cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.
“The vessel will enhance the Philippines’ law enforcement capabilities, assist in preventing maritime accidents and conducting quick and rescue operations and contribute to the overall improvement of maritime safety and security in the Philippines,” the Japanese diplomat said, in a statement released by the Japanese Embassy.
Koshikawa expressed confidence that the provision of MRRV will play a vital role in maritime law enforcement and marine environment in the Philippines, and further strengthen the strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.
The launching featured the Japanese nautical tradition of blessing the ship and its crew on its voyages. Under this tradition, the shipowner cuts the ceremonial cord using a special ax thought to bring good fortune and protection from evil, after which the ship is released from the slipway onto the water.
The first vessel is scheduled for delivery to the Philippines in March 2022 and will be handed over to the PCG in May 2022.