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DOTC earmarks P521M for Coast Guard rescue gear

MANILA, Philippines- The Department of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that it allocated P521 million to acquire additional rescue equipment for the Philippine Coast Guard.

DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas said the Coast Guard is acquiring these gears to immediately respond to various sea emergencies.

Currently, PCG maintains 12 districts, 63 stations and 237 detachments that monitor and protect a total of 36,289 kilometers of coastline and 1,830 square km of water nationwide.

However, its current inventory of 63 rescue boats is insu­fficient to fulfill its job. 

"DOTC seeks to reverse this situation by not only increasing the number of PCG boats but by enhancing also our Coast Guard men’s capability for rescue and relief operations," Roxas said. 

Among the items that will be acquired are 300 units of Aluminum, V-Shaped Hull boats; 81 units of rigid hull inflatable boats; 50 units of rubber boats; six units of jet skis; 2,586 units of common life vests (MARINA-type approved life saving apparatus); 1,724 units of flares; 862 units of VHF handheld marine radios; 862 units of life vests and 431 units of megaphones.

The Coast Guard said the rescue boats must subscribe to the designs and specifications of Special Forces Commando units and conform with the standards set by European directive EC94/25 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization AQAP-1.

Each rescue boat must be equipped with a megaphone, two units of VHF handheld marine type radio, two units of life vests, six units of common life vests and four units of flares.

Roxas said this procurement will ensure that each of the 237 detachments will have at least one Aluminum V-Shaped Hull with the corresponding set of rescue equipment. 

All 63 stations will also  have at least one Aluminum V-Shaped Hull and one rigid hull inflatable boat.

"With the purchase of the new rubber boats, it is expected that our travelers on our sea lanes will be at an average distance of 5 km to the nearest rubber boat station, a great improvement from the present 50 km," Roxas added. 

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Dennis Carcamo | The Philippine Star | July 10, 2012 | Article Link

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