The Philippine Coast Guard needs fast boats to help in fight against terrorism and illegal drugs and carry out other law-enforcement missions, according to PCG officer-in-charge Commodore Joel S. Garcia. “We do not need big ships for us to attain the mission. We need appropriate fast boats and armaments to attain,” Garcia said as quoted by Philstar.com.
In line with this, during the visit of United States Ambassador Sung Kim to PCG headquarters on January 19, the PCG conveyed its intent to acquire Defender-class boats, quantity is yet to be determined. PCG said Commodore Garcia proposed for the procurement of said boats to strengthen the Maritime Law Enforcement operation of PCG.
Defender-class boat is a 25-feet boat introduced by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in 2002 to increase US long term homeland security capability at shore stations in the wake of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
Ambassador Sung Kim committed to help fast track the acquisition. The US government also offered a $4.7-million grant which will provide education and training to repair and maintain boat engines.
“We have 300 small boats that have outboard motor engines in the Philippines so they saw it is good to train the PCG in order to repair the outboard motors nationwide,” the PCG OIC said as quoted by Manila Bulletin.