Government to buy 5 brand new patrol boats

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has approved the procurement of five brand new patrol boats to further improve the capability of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) amid the territorial row with other countries over the West Philippine Sea.

The Chief Executive gave his nod, but with certain conditions, on the P5.914-billion Philippine Ports and Coast Guard Capability Development Project that Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya proposed during the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board meeting last Wednesday in Malacanang.

The procurement of four brand new 24-meter patrol boats and one 82-meter patrol boat was one of the six projects that the Neda Board approved.

The proposed project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the Coast Guard will be partially financed through an official development assistance loan from France.

Aquino has vowed to improve the capability of the PCG to properly watch the country's territorial waters.

The other projects, which the Neda Board approved, were the Market Transformation through Introduction of Energy Efficient Electric Vehicles Project worth P21.672 billion; Basic Education Sector Transformation (Best), P9.419 billion; Proposed Change in Scope of the Post-Ondoy and Pepeng Short-Term Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (Popstirp), P6.479 billion; and the Pasig -Marikina River Channel Improvement project, Phase II, P5.542 billion.

The NEDA Board also approved with conditions the proposed Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) amounting to P27.535 billion.

The proposed education project aims to improve equitable access to complete basic education and ensuring its quality. Also, the project targets to build and sustain an effective, transparent and engaging governance of education. The project has two main components: improving teaching and learning; and strengthening systems.

The Popstirp involves the utilization of savings amounting to P461.2 million to implement 15 sub-projects (including eight flood control and seven road and bridges sub-projects) in the areas of Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Cagayan.

The Pasig-Marikina project aims to construct and improve the revetment, parapet wall and appurtenant drainage improvement works along the Pasig River, from Delpan Bridge up to the immediate vicinity of the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS), including design modification of river wall improvement works.

The PRDP of the Department of Agriculture aims to increase farm and fishery productivity and incomes in the targeted program areas (16 regions, 80 provinces) through the adoption and integration of climate-smart and resilient agriculture support, technologies, tools and systems. Also, it aims to have a more market-oriented, climate-resilient agro-fishery sector. (SDR/Sunnex)

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