Thanks, Japan: PH Coast Guard receives newest patrol ship from key ally

  • Japan formally turned over brand-new patrol ship to PH
  • Ten more patrol ships to be given by Japan to PH
  • PH Coast Guard thanked Japan, said ship will be valuable in protecting its sovereignty

MANILA, Philippines – Meet BRP Tubbataha, the country’s newest patrol ship.

Japan, a key ally of the Philippines, formally turned over the multi-role response vessel (MRRV) to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday even as it pledged to deliver 10 more ships as part of a P7.373 billion contract entered into by the two countries in 2013.

The BRP Tubbataha boasts state-of-the-art features including night vision and radio direction finders.

During the turnover ceremony, PCG Commandant Rear Admiral William Melad said the Coast Guard’s newest ship would be a vital asset in upholding the country’s sovereignty.

“In the past few years, we have all been witnesses to the growing and evolving challenges that the Philippine Coast Guard, the maritime community and the sea-traveling public had to face,” he said.

Without naming China, Melad said Filipinos will not take continued violations of their country’s territorial integrity sitting down.

“Who would not be angered by violations committed against our maritime laws that sometimes resulted in maritime accidents, or worse, casualties? And who could afford to take the bullying of our fishermen within our maritime jurisdiction just sitting down? Not Filipinos, for sure,” he said.

“Basically this is a law-enforcement vessel. This is not a warship. It is a multi-role response vessel. Ang [Its] primary mission niya will be environmental protection, mga humanitarian operations,” Melad added.

Both Japan and the Philippines are currently locked in maritime disputes with China in their respective regions.

While Japan has no claim in the West Philippine Sea, it has been loggerheads with China over the Senkaku Islands which is currently under its administration.