The government has unveiled the first two Filipino-built multi-mission vessels.
The two 50-meter offshore multi-mission vessels will be added to the growing number of floating assets of the Department of Agriculture–Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The vessels are built in the Philippines and are now undergoing finishing touches.
Construction of the vessels started in January 2016.
“Initially built as research ships, the vessels were modified into offshore multi-mission vessels due to the intensified campaign against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,” said BFAR.
“These vessels, which will be called DA-BFAR MV Lapu-Lapu [MMOV 5001] and MV Francisco Dagohoy [MMOV 5002], are designed to operate in offshore areas of Philippine waters including the EEZ and the High Seas Pocket 1,” said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.
“Hopefully by October, alongside the anniversary of Philippine Coast Guard, MV Lapu-Lapu and MV Francisco Dagohoy will sail in the West Philippine Sea, Philippine Rise, Cebu Sea and Sulu Sea,” he said.
The ships were constructed by 300 Filipino workers, mostly from Navotas City, following the designs of Incat Crowther, which conformed to the rules, regulations, and requirements of Bureau Veritas, a world expert in Testing, Inspection, and Certification services.
The vessels, which cost around P250 million each, were built to withstand 24-hour continuous, multi-purpose operations and are capable of remaining on station for 30 days.
They have an excellent maneuverability and station-keeping since it is made of twin fix-pitch propellers, twin rudders, twin independent electro-hydraulic steering gears and the electric driven how thruster.
Piñol said he wanted to build more ships with the same features as a part of the efforts of the government to protect the ocean and its marine resources, and further strengthen the country’s manifestation against foreign intimidation.
“Our government commitment is that we will use Filipino manpower and we will protect ocean for our future generation,” Piñol said.
The agri chief said he is targeting construction of five ships every year for the next five years. To implement the project, the agri chief asked for a P1 billion budget for 2018.
The multi-mission vessels will be added to the Bureau’s existing 123 floating assets deployed to fight IUU fishing in the country.
Aside from their law enforcement functions, the vessels will also be utilized for research and survey operations, and for livelihood support to far-flung island coastal communities.