MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard’s second biggest vessel is expected to arrive in Manila on June 1, the PCG announced yesterday.
The PCG said the P300-billion BRP Melchora Aquino, a 97-meter multirole response vessel, is still in Japan undergoing harbor acceptance test and inspection.
According to the ship’s commanding officer PCG Commander Patrick Babag, the test was necessary to ensure the vessel’s compliance with the technical specifications stated in the contract.
The ship will begin its five-day travel from Japan on May 27.
The Coast Guard’s first biggest ship, the BRP Teresa Magbanua, arrived in the country on Feb. 26.
PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu said the vessels would be used to strengthen the Coast Guard’s search, rescue and maritime environment protection capabilities.
Abu earlier said the BRP Melchora Aquino would be tasked to conduct maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea, Philippine Rise and the southern part of the country alongside the Teresa Magbanua.
The PCG said the ships were patterned after the Kunigami-class model vessel of the Japanese Coast Guard, with a speed of 24 knots and endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles and could sustain sea patrol for several days.
“In times of calamities, these ships could also perform humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” Abu said.
“Since they are bigger ships, more relief goods can be loaded on board these MRRVs, providing faster response to areas victimized by calamities,” he added.
BRP Melchora Aquino was constructed through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.