PH Coast Guard’s biggest OPV ship arriving April 7

PH Coast Guard’s biggest OPV ship arriving April 7

Now for some Good News.

The Philippine Coast Guard is expecting the arrival of its largest and most modern ship on its arsenal- the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) BRP Gabriela Silang.

The 83.6 meter OPV, built by French shipbuilder OCEA, was supposed to arrive in the Philippines earlier this year, but en route to its Manila voyage, it was dispatched to Malta to provide assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers in the Middle East who wanted to be repatriated.

BRP Gabriela Silang
(photo credit to owner)

The country and the French shipbuilder OCEA signed the contract for the OPV worth P5.6 billion in 2014. PCG earlier received four fast patrol boats as part of the project.

It was earlier announced that the PCG will use its largest floating asset in patrolling the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise and conduct anti-piracy and terrorism missions in Mindanao.

OPV BRP Gabriela Silang is originally designed for general coastal patrol, law enforcement and maritime surveillance.

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo said there is a proposal for the ship to be used as a floating hospital, but only as a last resort.

“This still needs to be discussed with the Department of Health. It has to undergo inspection so we can determine (if it can be used as a floating hospital) but only as a last resort,” he said.

“If it can’t be used as a floating hospital, then we can use it as a transport ship for the meantime,” he said.

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Report from PDI

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