November 3, 2016 — Additional vessels donated by Japan for the Philippine Coast Guard will aid the Philippine government in combating terrorism and drugs.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Philippines will be receiving in the form of a long-term loan two additional large-scale vessels from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
This is on top of at least 24 Japanese high-speed patrol vessels, he added.
Dominguez said the deal was sealed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan last week.
The two 94-meter large-scale boats will cost the country P6.8 billion under JICA’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program.
The amount will be payable in 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years, and will be at an interest rate ranging from 0.01% and 0.10%.
The latest loan is under Phase 1 of the JICA’s Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) for the Philippine Coast Guard.
The PCG is also getting 10 40-meter patrol vessels from Japan under Phase 1 of its MSCIP.
“Our government’s acquisition of these patrol vessels and high-speed boats would give a big boost to our Coast Guard’s capabilities in securing our waters,” Dominguez said.
He said the additional boats will help the Coast Guard secure the Philippine coasts from Abu Sayyaf bandits.
The first of these boats was delivered to the PCG last August, while the second one is expected to be handed over to the Coast Guard this December.
The rest are due for delivery between next year and August 2018.
According to the DOF, the terrorist-infested waters being shared by the Philippines and neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia have affected Indonesian deliveries of coal to power plants in Mindanao.
“Tokyo has also announced the provision of additional vessels for the PCG through a 600-million yen (about P280 million) grant for the procurement of high-speed boats and other equipment to boost the Philippines’ anti-terrorism and security activities,” the DOF said.
This additional package includes one 20-meter high-speed vessel and 14 units of 11-meter high speed boats.
The PCG will be getting 27 boats under Phases 1 and 2 of the MSCIP and through an additional grant from Tokyo, to strengthen its anti-terrorist, security and border patrol capabilities, including the large scale boats.
Dominguez added that he boats will help the country expand its war on drugs to the seas.