PH, Japan to seal P676M for Coast Guard equipment  

Including machineries for Marawi rehab

The Philippine and Japanese governments will soon sign the exchange of notes on projects intended for rehabilitating Marawi City and strengthening the maritime safety capability of the Philippine Coast Guard, according to the Department of Finance.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting, this department’s International Finance Group (IFG) said a grant of Y1.5-billion (estimated at P676 million) from the Embassy of Japan will be given to the Department of Public Works and Highways  in the form of heavy equipment and machineries to be used for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of heavily damaged Marawi City.

The equipment includes bulldozers, excavators and dump trucks, the IFG said.

The Philippine Coast Guard will also be the recipient of Japanese aid in the form of equipment for the improvement of its maritime safety and counterterrorism capability, the IFG told Dominguez.

These include radar systems, closed circuit televisions, and radio systems, it said.

In the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan last year, Dominguez and Japan International Cooperation Agency president Shinichi Kitaoka formalized several agreements that would help improve the Philippines’ maritime safety capability, including a deal for a Y16.5-billion concessional loan covered by Tokyo’s Official Development Assistance  for the acquisition of two large-scale patrol vessels for the PCG.

The loan was part of Tokyo’s continuing assistance to the PCG’s Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project.

Equivalent to P6.8 billion, this JICA loan was extended at an interest rate of between 0.01 (consulting component) and 0.10 (non-consulting component) percent per annum with a maturity period of 40  years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period.

The acquisition of two 94-meter large-scale patrol ships under Phase Two of the MSCIP is on top of the ongoing official development assistance (ODA) from Japan for the first phase of the project, which involves the procurement of 10 units of 40-meter PCG patrol vessels.

As of June 2017, five out of 10 vessels have already been delivered to the Philippines. The targeted completion of the delivery of all the 10 vessels is in August 2018.

Besides the loan agreement, Japan had also announced the provision of additional vessels for the PCG through a JPY600 million grant (about P280 million) for the procurement of high-speed boats and other equipment to boost the Philippines’ anti-terrorism and security activities.

This grant covers the acquisition of one 20-meter high-speed vessel and 14 units of 7-meter high speed boats.

In a high-level infrastructure cooperation meeting between Japan and the Philippines held last July in Manila, a list of projects with an estimated total cost of P315.4 billion were pipelined for possible Japanese financing. (DOF)

Both sides also exchanged views on the support for Mindanao and other areas of cooperation including power and energy, anti-illegal drug measures, public safety and counterterrorism, and information and communications technology.