Philippine Coast Guard commissions new flagship vessel

FILE - This March 11, 2022 photo shows the Philippine Coast Guard's new flagship vessel BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) upon its arrival in Manila.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday commissioned its new 97-meter multi-role response vessel.

The new ship, named Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Teresa Magbanua, is the coast guard's new flagship vessel.

During the naming and commissioning ceremony on Friday, PCG Commandant CG Admiral Artemio Abu said the new ship will give the coast guard added capability and confidence to perform its functions.

"This ship gives us an added capability and confidence to perform our mandated functions and to further implement and adhere to the Rule of Law within our territorial waters," Abu said.

The Philippine government acquired the Kunigami-class patrol vessel with the help of Japan Cooperation Agency through a soft loan via Japan's Official Development Assistance.

Abu also expressed gratitude to the Japanese government, particularly to Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, who represented Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

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"If I may borrow the words of our good Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko who once rightly remarked 'This magnificent ship will be the Guardian of Peace at Sea and a beacon for the Rule of Law,'" Abu said.

The new coast guard flagship was named after local heroine Teresa Magbanue, known as the "Visayan Joan of Arc" for leading the Panay-based Katipunan in 1896 against the Spaniards.

"This ship’s name mirror’s the valor, indomitable fighting spirit and unequalled commitment of her namesake. Like Teresa Magbanua, today’s event fuels our passion to serve, and strengthens our motivation to be always responsive to defend our country’s interest preserve it’s territorial integrity," the coast guard chief said.

BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

According to the coast guard, the new vessel is capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the Philippines' maritime jurisdiction.

The PCG added that BRP Teresa Magbanua is modeled after the Japan Coast Guard's Kunigami-class vessels, which Commandant Abu described as "already proven its worth" in service.

Another 97-meter MRRV, which will be commissioned as BRP Melchora Aquino, is scheduled to arrive in Manila next month.  Patricia Lourdes Viray

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