1. Home
  2. »
  3. News
  4. »
  5. The Philippines’ First JICA-Funded Multi-Role...

The Philippines’ First JICA-Funded Multi-Role Response Vessel Formally Christened “Tubbataha”

25 May 2016 – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya and Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez led the Naming Ceremony of the first completed Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV), officially known as the “Tubbataha,” on 25 May 2016 at the Isogo Works Shipyard in Yokohama, Japan.

The Tubbataha is the first of ten (10) 44-meter MRRVs commissioned by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and financed by Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) administered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The ten MRRVs, which will be named after famous Philippine lighthouses, were constructed using Japanese design, technology and manufacturing processes by the Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation.

During the Reception hosted by JMU, Secretary Abaya thanked the Japanese government and the JMU for their invaluable assistance in strengthening the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and enhancing the Philippines’ capability to patrol its coastlines and territorial waters. The Secretary conveyed the President’s commitment to promote the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the oceans and sea lanes and appreciation to Japan for its steadfast support for the Philippines’ development efforts.

In his remarks, Ambassador Lopez lauded the construction of the Tubbataha as a concrete and timely example of Philippines-Japan cooperation, as both countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations. The Ambassador offered a toast to to stronger development and maritime cooperation between the Philippines and Japan under the incoming administration.

Joining the ceremony were ranking officials of the PCG led by Commandant RADM William Melad;ranking officials of the Japan Coast Guard led by Vice Commandant Hideyo Hanazumi; executives of the JMU led by Director and Senior Managing Officer Takashi Kato; Regional Coordinator Yoshihisa Ishikawa of the Southeast and Southwest Asia Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; executives of the JMU Yokohama Shipyard led by Managing Officer Norizaku Suzuki; officials from JICA led by Director-General Yasushi Tanaka of the South East Asia and Pacific Department; Mr. Tatsuo Uchida of the classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyoukai, and Mr. Hiroshi Sekine of the Japan Marine Science, Inc.

The first two (2) MRRVs are scheduled for delivery to the Philippine government in May 2016 and September 2016, respectively. The keel laying ceremony of the Tubbataha, also attended by Secretary Abaya and Ambassador Lopez, was held last 6 February 2016.

The construction of the ten patrol boats was financed under a JPY 18.7B loan agreement to implement the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) for the PCG. Each patrol vessel has an overall length of 44.5 meters with a crew of 25 PCG officers and enlisted personnel. It has a cruising speed of 15 knots and can reach up to 1,500 nautical miles, which make it ideal for coastal patrol and rapid response.

The Tubbataha is scheduled to undergo sea trials on the second and third week of June 2016. PCG officials are also set to undergo training in Japan to man and operate the vessel by July 2016. The Tubbataha will then sail for Manila and will be delivered to the PCG by August 2016.

Construction on the second MRRV is ongoing since December 2015 and will be completed and ready for delivery voyage to Manila by the end of December 2016. The remaining vessels are scheduled to be turned over to the Philippines by the end of August 2018.