Thursday, July 25, 2024

Philippines Secures PHP24.5 Billion Loan From Japan To Buy 5 Maritime Vessels


Philippines Secures PHP24.5 Billion Loan From Japan To Buy 5 Maritime Vessels


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The Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently signed a PHP24.5-billion loan agreement for the procurement of new maritime vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Finance said the financing agreement for Phase 3 of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the PCG was signed by Finance Secretary Ralph Recto and JICA Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto on June 10, 2024 at the DOF office in Manila.

With a concessional financing of JPY64.38 billion or PHP24.57 billion, the project will involve the design, construction, and delivery of five units of 97-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs).

A separate statement released by JICA showed that the loan agreement carries an interest rate of 0.30 percent per annum and 0.20 percent per annum for consulting services, to be repaid in 40 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period.

It also includes a five-year Integrated Logistics Support to ensure the sustainability and operation readiness of the MRRVs.

To date, 12 MRRVs have been provided to the Philippines by JICA under favorable terms for the first and second phases of the project, as well as various PCG assets and capacity building through pure grant financing.

Recto said the vessels will better equip the PCG to fulfill its mission of protecting the country’s maritime sovereignty and defending the rights of Filipino fisherfolk.

“They will not only help strengthen our national security but also complement our broader infrastructure modernization program to spur rapid inclusive growth,” he said.

Sakamoto said JICA has been supporting the PCG in terms of enhancing their knowledge and skills development through various technical cooperation programs such as long-standing dispatch of JICA experts, short-term trainings, and scholarship programs.

“Proudly, I would like to reiterate that the best mix of hard and soft support is one of the beauties of Japan’s JICA’s unique cooperation,” Sakamoto said.

Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Endo Kazuya, meanwhile, vowed that Japan will continue to support the PCG’s capacity development.

“I sincerely hope that this project will further deepen the friendship and cooperative ties that Japan and the Philippines have built through the years,” Kazuya said. (PNA)