Two Multi-Mission Offshore Vessels (MMOV) made by Filipino engineers and shipbuilders in the shipyards of Navotas will be commissioned by President Rody Duterte in ceremonies in Davao City on December 22 this year.
The two vessels, MMOV Lapu-lapu and MMOV Francisco Dagohoy, will join the growing fleet of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), an agency under the Department of Agriculture.
President Duterte approved the DA-BFAR proposal to name the two vessels after two largely unheralded Filipino heroes, Lapulapu and Francisco Dagohoy.
Lapulapu was a Mactan Island chieftain who slew Portuguese explorer Fernando de Magallanes as he and Spanish Conquistadores waded to shore in the island.
Francisco Dagohoy was a Boholano who led the longest rebellion against the Spaniards in the Island of Bohol.
Built by Josefa Slipway shipbuilders under the strict supervision of international monitors to conform with established standards for sea vessels, each of the vessels cost about P250-M or P500-M for both the MMOVs.
Ships of the same size, measuring 50.5-meters, built in other countries and procured by the Philippine are estimated to cost about P750-M each, thus a savings to government of about P1-B for the two vessels.
Josefa Slipway started building the vessels in 2016 using funds of the BFAR and were completed after two years.
The two new MMOVs will be manned by the Philippine Coast Guard and will join the BFAR fleet of 14 small vessels and the MV DA/BFAR which is the research ship of the Department.
All except the MV DA/BFAR which is manned by DA-BFAR employees and boarded by Marine scientists are handled by the Philippine Coast Guard.
The two MMOVs will be used in the strengthened campaign against illegal fishing and poaching by foreign fishing vessels.
The size of the two vessels will allow these to sail farther from the coast lines and effectively safeguard the country’s fishing grounds.
The DA-BFAR will propose for the acquisition of more MMOVs to be made in the Philippines.
(Photos of MMOV 5001, Lapulapu, and MMOV 5002, Francisco Dagohoy were downloaded from DA-BFAR Facebook page.)