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Philippines and Japan Re-affirm Robust Maritime Cooperation With The Launching of the Second 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel

18 November 2021, Yamaguchi, Japan – The Philippine Coast Guard’s second 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV) was launched at the Mitsubishi Shimonoseki shipyard, where the dry-docked ship was lowered to the water for the first time since its construction. The ship is the second of two MRRVs acquired by the Philippine Coast Guard, and will be among its largest assets to date.

In his opening remarks, Secretary Arturo Tugade observed how this project reflected the strong ties that bind the Philippines and Japan. Secretary Tugade recognized Japan as the Philippines’ closest development partner, reinforced by Japan’s continued contribution to the Philippine growth story. He stressed how the MRRV would significantly improve the PCG’s response capabilities in maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations. “These new vessels represent a significant step forward in our continuing efforts to modernize the Philippine Coast Guard. Moreover, these vessels, with their modern equipment and capabilities, will safeguard our country’s maritime resources and ensure the observance of rule of law in the Philippines’ maritime jurisdiction.”

Minister Evangeline Ducrocq cuts the rope to launch the second 97-M Multi-Role Response Vessel. Lower picture shows Philippine Embassy, JICA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism officials, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and its partner officials, and PCG engineering team led by Commandant Jonathan A Coloma at the launch ceremony, Mitsubishi Shipyard, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 18 November 2021

The procurement of the MRRV is part of Phase 2 of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) for the PCG. Its features include a survivors’ room that will accommodate search and rescue victims, six hospital beds to respond to emergencies, and a decompression chamber.

The launch of this second vessel reaffirms the two countries’ robust maritime cooperation, in a key year as both countries celebrate the 65th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations and a decade of their Strategic Partnership.

The first 97-M MRRV was launched in July. Both MRRVs are expected to be officially turned over to the Philippine Government in 2022.

Philippine Embassy and PCG officials observe the fitting out of the first 97-meter MRRV and receive a briefing from Mitsibishi representatives, Shimonoseki Shipyard, 18 November 2021