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Japan forges agreement with PH for Maritime Safety Capability Improvement

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Department of Finance, signed on Monday, June 10, 2024, the JPY64,380 million Loan Agreement for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, Phase 3 (MSCIP3). 

The Project envisions to improve the capability of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to quickly and appropriately respond to offshore and coastal maritime incidents through the delivery of five (5) new 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs).

During the signing of the Loan Agreement, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto extended his appreciation to the Government of Japan and JICA for being “a reliable ally of the Philippines in strengthening maritime security and other support for Filipinos”. He further added that “[the vessels] will complement broader infrastructure modernization program to spur rapid inclusive growth”.

Previously, JICA also supported the Philippine Government in acquiring ten (10) 44-meter MRRVs in 2013 and two (2) 97-meter MRRVs in 2016 which are currently the biggest vessels in PCG’s fleet.

From left, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto, Japanese Ambassador ENDO Kazuya, and JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.

JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema said, “signing the Loan Agreement for the MSCIP3 is a clear testament to the profound value of our unwavering joint efforts especially with PCG in saving human lives, protecting the environment and maintaining peace, among others.” SAKAMOTO also acknowledged and commended PCG’s humanitarian efforts in timely responding to several calls of distraught and tragedies ensuring safety of people, livelihood, and marine environment.

Also present during the signing were Japanese Ambassador ENDO Kazuya, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, PCG Deputy Commandant Allan Victor Dela Vega, National Economic and Development Authority Assistant Secretary Roderick Planta and Department of Foreign Affairs Director Princess Tomas-Tayao. 

JICA has also continuously been supporting PCG by combining hard and soft support, one of the unique characteristics of JICA’s cooperation, to ensure sustainability. As such, JICA has been providing technical assistance and training programs for decades to enhance PCG’s capacity in various areas such as maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, and disaster response, among others.

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