The BRP Tubbataha, one of the 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) ordered from Japan, was formally delivered to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Thursday morning.
PCG Spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said the handover took place around 9 a.m. at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor.
BRP Tubbataha was delivered by Japan Marine United Corporation (JMUC) sailing personnel with 12 observers from the PCG. It departed the JMUC shipyard in Yokohama, Japan last Aug. 11.
Balilo said the commissioning date is tentatively set on Aug. 22.
The BRP Tubbataha has a length of 44 meters, a draft of four meters and a maximum speed of 25 knots, a range of 1,500 nautical miles and a crew of 25 officers and enlisted personnel.
The BRP Tubbataha and the nine other MRRVs would be classified as "Parola (lighthouse)" class vessels and named after lighthouses. The Tubbataha Reef, a marine reservation area in Palawan, has a lighthouse similarly named.
The MRRV is equipped with special features for search and rescue and law enforcement operations such as fire monitors, night vision camera, radio direction finder and a workboat. It also has a bullet-proof navigational bridge.
The remaining MRRVs will arrive one after another every quarter or until 2018.
The PCG's MRRV program stemmed from the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project being implemented as an Official Development Assistance project, via a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Under the project terms, the MRRVs will be used for:
• Primary rescue vessels within the PCG District’s areas of responsibility (AOR) when the extent of the disaster is beyond the capability of floating assets deployed within the area;
• Assistance in the control of oil pollution and protection of the marine environment;
• Enforcement of all applicable maritime laws within the designated AOR, particularly relating to illegal fishing and sea patrol;
• Service as platform for rapid response during relief operations in the area;
• Transport of personnel and logistical support.