PCG welcomes French ambassador

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) welcomed French Ambassador to the Philippines Her Excellency Michèle Boccoz at PCG National Headquarters, Port Area, Manila on March 5.

Boccoz was welcomed by Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr., the PCG commandant.

“After a short meeting, Admiral Ursabia toured Ambassador Boccoz aboard the BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), the largest and most advanced aluminum hull off-shore patrol vessel in the world constructed by French shipbuilder, OCEA based in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France,” PCG said.

“The Coast Guard Commandant showcased its equipment and facilities and shared how the asset greatly supports the PCG’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.

Boccoz presented her credentials, as new envoy of France to the Philippines, to President Rodrigo Duterte on February 10.

The PCG is pushing to acquire 2 more Gabriela Silang-class OPVs from France.

PCG commandant Admiral Ursabia said during a press briefing on March 3 that BRP Garbiela Silang cannot sustain patrol in West Philippine Sea, “it needs other vessels to help her. That explains why we are getting two more of such type of vessel and this is from Japan.”

He added that they are also “pushing for acquisition of two more of the Gabriela Silang, so that we will have a total of five offshore patrol vessels. With such number of such type of patrol vessel, only then that we can say that we can have a patrol of the West Philippine Sea in a continuous mode..”