Japan has delivered the first of 10 patrol vessels to Philippines as part of the official development assistance loan to help Manila’s maritime capabilities.
The 44-meter multi-role patrol vessel will be assigned to the Philippine coast guard. The response vessel has been funded by a $158 million loan from Japan. Philippines is contributing 1.4 billion pesos to the 10-vessel project and is expected to be completed by 2018, Japan Times reported Thursday.
“In the past few years, we have all been witness to the growing and evolving challenges that the Philippine Coast Guard is facing, and the maritime community and the sea-traveling public also had to face. Who could forget the devastation and horror brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda?” Rear Adm. William Melad, the coast guard chief was quoted as saying by the news daily at the ceremony to welcome the BRP Tubbataha. Yolanda, known elsewhere as Typhoon Haiyan, claimed more than 6,300 lives in the Philippines in 2013.
“These instances have reverberated the call for a modern and equipped Philippine Coast Guard that can speedily respond to cries for help and engage in rescue and rehabilitation efforts, one that has technical capability to match . . . against poachers, smugglers, human and drug traffickers, and one that can stand up for the country’s citizens against maritime bullies,” he said.
Coast guard spokesman Armando Balilo said that, once commissioned, the BRP Tubbataha is likely to be deployed on patrol missions in the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China Sea where the Philippines claims jurisdiction.
In addition to the patrol vessels, Japan has agreed to lease up to five Maritime Self-Defense Force TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippines.
A malware known as NanHaiShu or “South China Sea Remote Access Trojan (RAT)” in Mandarin was discovered to have gathered intelligence related to the South China Sea arbitration case from the Philippines and organizations involved in assisting the South East Asian country which won an international arbitration case against China. Hackers believed to be from China have attacked government and private-sector organizations linked to the row over the key waterway, a Japan Times report said quoting an analysis by Finnish cybersecurity firm F-Secure
China could place upto 24 fighter aircraft in hangers it is building in the disputed Spratly Islands, which the Philippines' claims is a part of its exclusive economic zone. Beijing has built three operational runways in the disputed Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefsislands which it claims is for civilian use but in reality, military fighter and transport planes regularly operate to the islands, a report in Philstar
Indias state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers might lose $319 million Philippine naval contract for supplying two light frigates as it failed to clear financial assessment tests after winning the contract. Reports from the Philippines suggest that a post-qualification assessment found GRSE deficient on financial requirements
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