Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe Judan and French shipbuilder OCEA director of maritime safety and security Fabrice Weinbach on Wednesday, September 6 signed the contract effectiveness agreement for the acquisition of five vessels for maritime security under the Philippine Ports and Coast Guard Capability Development Project.The signing was witnessed by Secretary Arthur Tugade and French Embassy representative Laurent Estrade.
The signing of the contract effectiveness agreement means that certain conditions precedent for the coming into full force and effect of the contract has already been completed.
The contract for the purchase of the sea vessels – four brand new 24 meter fast patrol boats (FPB 72) and one 84 meter offshore patrol vessel (OPV 270) – was signed on September 9, 2014 between OCEA and the then Department of Transportation and Communication (D0TC).
Under the agreement, supply of goods shall be made within 23 months with its first delivery to be made on the first quarter of 2018.
The project includes supply, delivery and maintenance of vessels.
“The acquisition of the vessels will enhance the capability of the PCG in performing its functions on maritime security, safety, maritime search and rescue, marine environmental protection as well as offshore patrol of the country’s exclusive economic zone,” DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Lino Dabi said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
He said the sea vessels may be deployed to deter piracy incidents in southern Mindanao and defend the country’s territorial claims over the West Philippine Sea.
The French government has provided a loan worth 97.03 million euros through Official Development Assistance (ODA) using the remaining balance of the Greater Maritime Access (GMA) RoRo Port Projects of the Arroyo administration. with PNA