House Special Committee on Strategic Intelligence chairperson Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel has endorsed the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)’s plan to acquire two more French-made Gabriela Silang-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) at an estimated cost of P11.2 billion.
“The PCG’s first 84-meter OPV from French shipbuilder OCEA S.A. was acquired at a cost of P5.6 billion. Commissioned only last year, the boat is now the PCG’s flagship, the BRP Gabriela Silang,” Representative Pimentel said.
“The two additional OPVs would increase to five the number of large PCG boats capable of performing continuous intercept missions for long periods, to include the two 94-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) that will be delivered next summer by Japan’s Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd,” he added.
French shipbuilder OCEA, the builder of PCG’s BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), has as already expressed its intention to establish a shipyard in the Philippines.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), OCEA pledged ₱1.5 billion in investments for a shipyard project in the Philippines that may potentially create 500-600 direct and indirect jobs.
The intent was revealed during the 9th Philippine-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting held on July 2.
“Through its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Roland Joassard, OCEA, a shipbuilding company in northwest France, formally expressed in the presence of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester, its intent to set up a shipyard in the country,” DTI said.