PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Coast Guard to beef up sea, air assetsMANILA, January 28 (PIA) -- More sea and air assets will soon be seen in stations of the Philippine Coast Guard as P1.6 billion will be earmarked for the acquisitions of equipment to boost the maritime agency’s search and rescue capabilities.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas said the additional fund, which was directed by President Benigno S. Aquino III, will help reinforce Coast Guard’s P3billion funds aimed at building a more mobile and flexible search and rescue resources.
During the recent turnover of command at the Coast Guard headquarters in Manila, President Aquino said his administration is responding to the needs of law enforcement agencies through continuous equipment upgrading and enhancement of skills of personnel through education and training.
The said fund will be used to acquire additional aircrafts and ships, enhance control and communications equipment, upgrade firepower for ships, train personnel, maintain Coast Guard district and stations, and support Presidential security duties.
However, Roxas clarified that the acquisition of new equipment will undergo a strict bidding process, as per World Bank specifications, to ensure the best value.
The DOTC chief added that among the assets they eye to purchase are two helicopters costing around P200 million to P300 million a pair, needed for search and rescue missions.
“These helicopters are important because of their loitering capability whenever they are looking for survivors,” explained Roxas.
Coast Guard chief Admiral Edmund Tan also revealed that they are also planning to buy five more additional helicopters with two Islander planes.
Tan also said that two of the seven helicopters will be delivered by this year, while the rest will be delivered in three years time.
Meanwhile, aside from the purchase of new equipment, the DOTC is also planning to repair some of coast guard’s ships from the additional funds. (DOTC/RJB/JEG-PIA-NCR)