The vessel, BRP-Malamawi, will be jointly operated by the PCG and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to address the problems on smuggling, as well as piracy, drug trafficking and other illegal activities in the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (ZamBaSulTa) areas.
The BRP-Malamawi, a 24-meter Fast Patrol Boat skippered by Commander Rolando Lorenzana, arrived Friday morning at the local port.
“Definitely, it will boost our capability to interdict, monitor and to detect the entry of smugglers in this part of the country,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
Guerrero was the guest and keynote speaker in the arrival ceremony to BRP-Malamawi (2403) held at the local port.
“As far as the Bureau of Customs is concerned, this (BRP-Malamawi) is one of the three ships that we will be using in our anti-smuggling efforts,” Guerrero added.
The BRP-Malamawi is manned by 12 PCG personnel, including three officers. It is the third of four Boracay class Patrol Vessels built by OCEA of France for the PCG.
BRP-Malamawi was launched in July 2018 at the OCEA site in Les Sables d’Olonne, France and was commissioned into service in Manila in January 2019 along with her sister ship, the BRP-Kalanggaman (2404).
The other two vessels are the BRP-Boracay (2401) and BRP-Panglao (2402).
Meanwhile, Guerrero said another vessel is set to be deployed in Northern Mindanao to strengthen the anti-smuggling and anti-piracy campaign there, and to address other maritime security concerns in the area.