President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, October 26 witnessed the signing and exchanging of notes concerning two yen loan projects. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa and Foreign Affairs Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. signed and exchanged notes concerning two yen loan projects that amount to 21.383 billion yen (9.9 billion pesos).
The projects include the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard Phase (MSCIP) II. Only Japanese shipbuilders are qualified to bid for the said project.
“The objective of this project is to construct two (2) patrol ships to be used by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and aims to improve the PCG’s capabilities to quickly and appropriately respond to maritime incidents, such as search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement. It is expected that this cooperation will contribute to the enhancement of the maritime safety of the Republic of Philippines,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Duterte approved the MSCIP II – acquiring 2 heavy weather, high endurance 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) – on September 14, during the first meeting of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board under his administration.
“Each vessel, as claimed by PCG, will enable them to recover as much as 500 passengers in the event of a maritime disaster, as well as provide the country with wider maritime coverage for strategic and national security purposes,” NEDA said.
Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has granted the Philippine government Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the first phase of MSCIP in 2013. MSCIP I is providing the PCG with 10 44-meter MRRVs.
MSCIP I was awarded to Japan Marine United last year. The first MRRV was already delivered, succeeding deliveries are expected every quarter until completion of 10 units in 2018.
The second loan project will promote activities that contribute to the creation of employment opportunities and the enhancement of household income through the improvement of access to financing and the vitalization of economic activities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and its environs by providing necessary funds for investment in plant and equipment, operating capital, etc. to private businesses and agricultural cooperatives there.
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