Japan turns over high-speed boats to boost PH search and rescue work, drive vs terror

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The three vessels turned over this week by Japan. HANDOUT PHOTO

MANILA – Three of 13 high-speed boats requested from Tokyo by President Duterte – to boost the Philippines’ patrol, search and rescue, anti-terrorism, and law enforcement capabilities – were turned over this week to Philippine officials, as part of a Japanese grant program.

Ambassador Koji Haneda attended the Turnover Ceremony on November 20, 2017, of three 7m class fast boats (Rigid Hull Inflated Boats: RHIBs) and the Commissioning Ceremony of three 44m class patrol vessels (Multi-Role Response Vessels: MRRVs) at the Headquarters of the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG).

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon also attended the ceremonies. The high-speed boats and patrol vessels are being provided to the Philippines through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The three 7m class high-speed boats are the first batch of the 13 high-speed boats that will be provided to the Philippines with Japan’s grant. They are provided in response to President Duterte’s direct request, according to a news release from the Japanese embassy.

The three newly commissioned patrol vessels are the 4th, 5th, and 6th vessels ,“Capones”,”Suluan” and “Sindangan” respectively of the ten 44m class patrol vessels that are financed, designed, and built through Japan’s support.

Together with coastal monitoring radars that Japan has recently decided to provide to the Philippines, these newly provided ships are aimed to improve the Philippines’ patrol, search and rescue, anti-terrorism, and law enforcement capabilities.

In his remarks, Ambassador Haneda pointed out that President Duterte recently stated in Tokyo that our two countries are entering a “Golden Age” of strategic partnership, and that Ambassador Haneda is looking forward to working together in further strengthening such relations.

Japan’s Ambassador Haneda (seated) chats with officials led by Secretaries Tugade and Esperon at the turnover rites. HANDOUT PHOTO