The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has been allocated with PHP6.7 billion for the acquisition of sea and air assets in 2018, House appropriations committee member Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel said. PHP3.1 billion was lodged in the budget of the PCG itself, while P3.6 billion is in the allocation of its mother agency, the Department of Transportation.
“The fresh funding will help pay for the acquisition of 10 newly built 44-meter patrol boats from Japan, of which five have already been delivered to the PCG,” Pimentel said.
The budget will also be used for the French-built four 24-meter fast boats and 82-meter vessel expected to be delivered in 12 months and in 2019, respectively.
The PCG is also acquiring two Japan-made 94-meter patrols vessels expected to be delivered in 2020 and 2021. “The 94-meter boats in particular can operate continuously for 15 days, so they can help reinforce existing Philippine Navy and PCG vessels that are now guarding our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea,” Pimentel said.
He added that the PCG is also spending PHP922 million for firearms, PHP686 million for a chopper meant for deployment aboard a boat and PHP682 million for smaller watercraft.
4000 new PCG uniformed personnel will also be hired in preparation for upcoming new assets. “We’ve increased from 8,930 this year to 12,930 in 2018 the authorized positions for uniformed PCG personnel,” Pimentel said.
PCG is also acquiring 7 to 15 meters high-performance rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) which can be deployed from bigger patrol vessels.
“These high-speed RIBs will be helpful in vessel interdiction and non-compliant boarding team operations. They can also help fight off terrorists as well as drug smugglers aboard motorized boats,” he said.
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