The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commissioned into the service the first two of the four fast patrol boats with Honorable Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance as the guest of honor and speaker at the National Headquarters Philippine Coast Guard in Manila, on October 15.
The PCG’s newest acquisitions, BRP Boracay (FPB 2401) and BRP Panglao (FPB 2402) were named after prominent Philippine islands known for their tourism aesthetic and environmental features.
As a tradition, a vessel is being commissioned to grant its identity to belong to a service and to authorize it to perform the mandated missions of the agency, fly the national ensign, jack flag and the commission pennants.
These fast patrol boats were designed and manufactured by the OCEA in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, which is a renowned shipbuilder based in France which offers a range of other fast patrol vessels. The acquisition is under the Philippine Ports and Coast Guard Capability Development Project.
The FPB has a maximum speed (light load) of up to 30 knots; it is specially designed for hot pursuit and rallying as well as endurance even during rough weather operation. It can accommodate 27 persons (12 crews and 16 passengers). This acquisition is an additional asset to the PCG in the conduct of its missions such as general coastal patrol of territorial and economic zone waters, law enforcement operations, surveillance and Coast Guard operations, fishing surveillance operations, anti-smuggling and illegal immigration control, search and rescue operations, control of vessels at sea, and special operations.
The BRP Boracay (FPB-2401) and BRP Panglao (FPB 2402) are under the helm of Lieutenant Commander Patrick G. Babag and Lieutenant Commander Alberto T. Ferre respectively.
The PCG and Bureau of Customs (BOC) have drafted a memorandum of agreement signed by PCG Commandant, Admiral Elson E Hermogino and BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña wherein three of the four FPBs will be operated for the purpose of conducting joint operations in the enforcement of laws pertaining to border control, prevention and suppression of smuggling and other customs fraud.
French Ambassador Nicolas Galey with OCEA representatives and Department of Transportation, Undersecretary for Planning & Project Development Engineer Ruben S. Reinoso Jr. were also present to highlight this milestone in the PCG history.
The other two FPBs are set to be delivered by November this year.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)