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Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Phase 3 Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard

As part of efforts by the Philippine Coast Guard to modernize and expand its fleet and Japan readily giving assistance to the Philippines to improve maritime safety and law enforcement capabilities, a project was brought out to fulfil these requirements with the help of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The ships will be used to respond to offshore and coastal maritime incidents such as Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN), Maritime Security (MARSEC) operations.

This resource page was initiated and originally written by one of MaxDefense Philippines' longtime  contributor, "Herbie", who also previously contributed and written for other resource pages here at Philippine Defense Resource. We thank Herbie for sharing and allowing his work to be posted in this page.

A Magbanua-class 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard. An improved version might be used for the new MSCI Phase 3 project. Photo credits to Global Business Press.

Project Summary:

Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Phase III Project of the Philippine Coast Guard

Note: Last edited as of 15 January 2024

End User:
Philippine Coast Guard

5 units

Project ABC: Php 29,300,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode:
Limited Source Bidding

Source of Funding: Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan

SARO Release:

Winning Proponent: TBC

Product for Delivery: 5 units of 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel, still unconfirmed design

Contract Price: TBC

First post by MaxDefense: 20 March 2023

MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: 

Project Status:
Publicly confirmed by the PCG on November 2023, as part of Japan's commitment to strengthen the capabilities of the PCG. Undergoing pre-procurement process as of 15 January 2024.


Based on the Philippine Coast Guard's 2020 Acquisition Plan, the service aims to have at least ten Ocean Patrol Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs), and thirty Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

One of the projects to achieve that Plan is the Phase III of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the PCG (MSCIP Phase III), which aims to provide additional large ships to the service.

Credits to Philippine Coast Guard.

Through the years, the PCG stated its acquisition plans in different fora.

In May 2022, then PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu stated that it is ideal to have a 97-meter MRRV for each of the PCG’s 15 Coast Guard Districts. 

Last June 2022, then CG Vice Admiral Eduardo Fabricante conveyed the possibility of procuring additional units of 97-meter MRRVs during a visit to the PCG by officials from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

In July 2022, the PCG submitted its proposal to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) for the acquisition of additional 97-meter MRRVs.

Also during a January 2023 visit of officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines at the PCG Headquarters in Manila, then PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu discussed the proposed acquisition of additional 97-meter MRRVs among other projects that are planned with Japanese assistance. During media interviews of this visit, the PCG Commandant mentioned the plans to acquire five additional 97 meter MRRVs was in progress with the DOTr and NEDA.

During various media interviews starting last February 2023 when the military-grade laser pointing incident by the China Coast Guard happened, PCG Spokesman Commodore Jay Tarriela mentioned the PCG needs more than 20 offshore patrol vessels in its fleet.

Around March 2023, during the FY 2024 Budget Preparation, documents from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) showed that the PCG submitted a project to procure five 80-100 meter ships with an estimated budget of around Php21 billion.

Finally last 09 November 2023, the NEDA Board approved the Php29.3 billion Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the PCG, Phase 3, which will involve the design, construction, and delivery of five units of MRRVs, each with a length of 97 meters and with a five-year integrated logistics support.

According to JICA, it is estimated that a budget of approximately JPY 18 billion (~ Php7 billion) for five years will be required for O&M costs for the ships. With that, around Php22.3 billion will be used for the Consulting and Construction contracts for the five ships.

According to the DOTr, this project will complete the seven units needed to enable a minimum strategic deployment of capable coast guard vessels within our vast maritime jurisdiction particularly in our exclusive economic zones and extended continental shelf, with due regard for the competing budgetary requirements of the government vis a vis the challenges to our maritime safety and security.

A total of 380 personnel will be required for the five ships to be procured under this project. As part of the Lessons Learned of other Japanese ODA projects, it is important for this project to secure personnel with training in order to ensure safe operation of the ships.

And by continuing to have a Preventive Maintenance Policy (currently implemented in MSCIP Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects), the ships are aimed to have an operational life of 30 years.

From July 2022 when it was submitted to the DOTr for endorsement to the Embassy of Japan up to November 2023 when it was approved by the NEDA Board in just 15 months, this project can be seen as obviously expedited compared to other PCG projects. This can be a prime example of how a project can be prioritized even though working with a foreign partner like the JICA.


Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
Philippines National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
* Philippine Coast Guard

U P D A T E S:


First edit and release: 15 January 2024
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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