File photo of the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) and Japan Maritime Self Defense. The Philippine Navy deployed warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz to patrol Benham Rise, which is part of the country's extended continental shelf.

File photo
New Coast Guard ship to patrol Benham Rise
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - February 23, 2018 - 2:13pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard's new multi-role response vessel will be deployed to conduct patrols at Benham or Philippine Rise off the coast of Aurora province.
The ship, which will be named BRP Cape San Agustin, is expected to arrive from Yokohama, Japan on March 1, according to a report from The STAR.
BRP Cape San Agustin is the seventh out of 10 40-meter multi-response vessels constructed under the loan agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Philippine government.
The sailing crew of Cape San Agustin started their one-month familiarization training onboard the ship earlier this month in Japan.
In December 2013, JICA and the Philippine government signed the 18.732-billion yen loan agreement to boost maritime safety and enhance the capabilities of the Philippines Coast Guard.
The agreement was part of the Japanese government's assistance loan agreement with the Philippines.
The vessels, which will be constructed in Japan, are expected to contribute to maritime safety, maritime law enforcement, monitoring, pollution control and disaster response. Japan's advanced shipbuilding technologies will be adopted in the construction of the ships.
The Philippine Coast Guard first started patrolling the Benham Rise region in April 2017 after reports that Chinese vessels are in the area.
On March last year, the Philippine Navy deployed warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz to patrol the area, which is part of the country's extended continental shelf. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana then said that the Navy would regularly patrol the area to assert the country's claim. — with a report from Evelyn Macairan

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