MANILA, Philippines – The first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is set to arrive in the country in February 2020 following its formal handover ceremony in France.
French Shipbuilding OCEA formally turned over the vessel to the PCG in a ceremony held in Saint Nazaire on December 18.
The turnover rites marked the first time that PCG’s newest and largest 83-meter vessel will be flying the Philippine flag.
The vessel’s Commanding Officer, Commander Alberto Ferre led the ceremony and witnessed by Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Larazo, who represented the PCG and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Also present in the historic event were the 35 PCG personnel and crew who will operate the vessel and will bring it home to the Philippines.
The ship, which will officially be commissioned to the PCG as Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Gabriela Silang, will depart France on December 30 and is set to arrive in Manila on February 10, 2020.
The vessel is designed for general coastal patrol of territorial waters, maritime surveillance operations, and law enforcement.
It will be used to patrol the Benham Rise and the West Philippine Sea, as well as to conduct anti-piracy and terrorism missions in Mindanao.
Last month, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade approved the Provisional Acceptance of the OPV, through BRP Gabriela Silang’s commanding officer Ferre, in the signing of the certificate in France.
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