MANILA, – President Duterte has approved the acquisition of two helicopters to be used in search and rescue operations by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Duterte promised PCG commandant Rear Admiral William Melad that the agency would soon receive the helicopters when the President toured BRP Tubbataha during the PCG’s 115th anniversary on Oct. 13, PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said yesterday.
Air assets such as helicopters are vital in the PCG’s performance of its functions, particularly in search and rescue missions.
“The helicopters can be utilized in air dropping of relief goods, dropping of rescuers at sea and evacuation of people trapped on roofs and on trees during calamities,” Balilo said.
Aside from the 10 units of newly built 44-meter vessels from Japan that would arrive in the country in staggered delivery until 2018, the President also approved the acquisition of two more ships from Japan.
The ships measuring 90 meters long may be delivered by 2020, the PCG said.
The government is also planning to order two ships from France to add to the PCG’s fleet.
An Airbus Helicopters H145 Medium utility helicopter using its external hoist.
The Japan Coast Guard ZANPA (PL-84) Hida-class patrol vessel.