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BRP Ramon Alcaraz to boost patrol abilities in Philippine waters -- Palace

File photo of BRP Ramon Alcaraz. (Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs)
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - Amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea, Malacanang on Tuesday said that Philippines war ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which is expected to arrive first week of August, will boost capabilities of authorities patrolling the country's waters.

"It's (BRP Ramon Alcaraz) a step in the right direction in terms of upgrading our hardware, our capabilities, and that this will certainly be a boost to our patrol abilities," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte in a press briefing on Tuesday.

"As you know, as an archipelago medyo mahaba po ‘yung talagang kailangang i-patrol ng ating Navy, so this will be a good addition to the Philippine Navy," she added.

The Alcaraz is a 115-meter decommissioned US Coast Guard ship that the Philippines acquired last year. It underwent $15.5-million (P620-million) refitting and refurbishment and sea trials in May.

The Hamilton-class weather high endurance cutter had served as the US Coast Guard’s USCGC Dallas for four decades before it was turned over to the Philippine Navy under the Excess Defense Article Military Assistance Program of the United States.

Meanwhile, Valte said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has sent three Philippine Navy officers to the United States last week to join the crew of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz and document its journey from San Diego to the Philippines.

The team is composed of Commander Gilbert O. Pacio, Navy Lieutenant Marineth Riano Domingo, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Errol N. dela Cruz who are all Public Affairs officers.

As part of the project -- in partnership with the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) -- Valte said, the group will share, through blogs and social media, their experiences aboard the newest ship of the Philippine fleet.

Their articles will be uploaded through a live blog on the official website of the Philippine Navy ( and the blog of Lt. Jg. dela Cruz (, one of the officers recording the journey.

Aside from the blogs, people may follow the official Twitter accounts of the BRP Alcaraz (@BRPRamonAlcaraz), Philippine Navy (@PN_Speak), the AFP (@TeamAFP), and the account of Lt. dela Cruz (@erroldelacruz).

Updates on the BRP Alcaraz may also be read through the official Facebook pages of the AFP (, the Navy (, and the Facebook account of the ship (

The Official Gazette’s Twitter (@govph) and Facebook ( will likewise share onboard updates on Alcaraz.

"We encourage everyone to follow the updates on the BRP Alcaraz -- the first of the Navy's ships to be named in honor of a Philippine Naval officer -- and learn about the life and experiences of the members of the Philippine Navy," said Valte.