BRP Gabriela Silang, the Philippine Coast Guard’s newest and largest vessel, is set to arrive in Philippine waters on Tuesday, April 7.
This would be the first time for the 84-metre offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to sail in its home waters following its delivery and commissioning in December 2019. It had been temporarily diverted to the Middle East early this year to aid in the possible repatriation of Filipino citizens amid growing US-Iran tensions.
Coast guard commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said that, following its arrival in Manila, Gabriela Silang will be utilised to transport healthcare workers, medicine, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment to various ports throughout the Philippines in support of the national government’s COVID-19 response effort.
The OPV may also be reconfigured as a temporary quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients if the need arises.
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