Defense of the Republic of the Philippines

General Discussion => General Discussion => Kalayaan Island Group and Other Disputes => Topic started by: adroth on April 06, 2017, 11:29:53 PM

Title: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on April 06, 2017, 11:29:53 PM
Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea

Published April 6, 2017 3:38pm
Updated April 6, 2017 7:01pm
By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to seize islands in undisputed Philippine territory in the South China Sea.

Duterte said he also plans to go to Pag-Asa Island to raise the Philippine flag on Independence Day.

"We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control. And I have ordered the Armed Forces to occupy all -- these so many islands, I think nine or 10 -- lagyan ng structures and the Philippine flag," he told reporters after talking to the soldiers at the AFP Western Command (WESCOM) in Camp General Artemio Ricarte in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

"And sa coming Independence Day natin, I might, I may go to Pag-asa island to raise the flag there," he added.

Duterte said he was willing to let the government spend for fortifications in the said islands.

< Edited >

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/606119/news/nation/duterte-orders-afp-to-occupy-phl-islands-in-south-china-sea#sthash.ejJtvBfa.dpuf
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: sirius on April 07, 2017, 12:47:03 AM
I'm curious to see how many soldiers will be deployed, and to what extent...

In any case, I think it's great the Philippines is beginning to (non-violently) asset its claims.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: sirius on April 07, 2017, 02:45:03 AM
http://politics.com.ph/duterte-to-ride-jetski-plant-flag-in-spratlys-and-challenge-china-suntukan-o-barilan/

Quote
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Duterte declared in a press conference:‎ “I will ask the Navy to bring me to the nearest point in South China Sea that is tolerable to them and I will ride a jet ski‎. I will carry a flag and when I reach Spratlys, I will erect the Filipino flag. I wil tell them (Chinese), Suntukan o barilan?”

This is Duterte’s alternative to going against China’s much superior firepower which he said would end up as a massacre. “Ano ako gago? Patay lahat yan,” said Duterte.

LOL
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 09, 2017, 02:33:43 AM
Palace: Independence Day at Pag-asa part of Duterte's independent foreign policy
By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated April 7, 2017 - 5:06pm

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/07/1688612/palace-independence-day-pag-asa-part-dutertes-independent-foreign

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to celebrate Independence Day on Pag-asa Island would be symbolic of the administration's independent foreign policy, a Malacañang official said Friday.


Duterte earlier said that he might visit Pag-asa, an area under Kalayaan town in Palawan, on June 12 to mark Independence Day.

"In the coming Independence Day, I might, I may go to Pag-asa Island to raise the flag there," Duterte told reporters on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Duterte's announcement of his plans to improve Pag-asa Island is part of his mandate to serve the best interests of the nation.

The president vowed to support improvements and repairs of the runway on the island.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 17, 2017, 09:11:53 AM
Duterte takes China’s advice not to raise PH flag on Pag-asa Island
Published April 14, 2017, 12:05 AM
By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Reuters

http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/04/14/duterte-takes-chinas-advice-not-to-raise-ph-flag-on-pag-asa-island/

Riyadh– President Duterte has taken the advice of China not to raise the Philippine flag on Pag-asa Island and fortify its barracks there as it might cause quite a stir among claimants of the disputed South China Sea.

During a meeting with the members of the Filipino community here Wednesday night, Duterte said he is cancelling his earlier declaration of personally going to that island to plant the Philippine flag.

“Kasi sabi ng China (Because China said), what will happen if every head of state of contending parties there around the West Philippine Sea will go there to plant the flag? There will likely be trouble,” he said.

Though the island is administered as part of Kalayaan, Palawan, it is also being claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The 37.2-hectare Pag-asa Island, the second largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands, lies 480 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

< Edited >

“They said, do not go there in the meantime, just do not go there please. I will correct myself because we value our friendship with China,” he said, adding that he might just send his son to the island.

“It [China] has benefited us in so many ways. Gumanda ang buhay natin (Our lives have improved),” he said.

“Maybe I’ll send my son. Just to show to the other claimants that the blood of the Filipino is in the disputed islands,” he said in a jest.

Earlier, Duterte had instructed the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build houses there.

< Edited >
Title: Duterte says occupation in islands to only assert maritime rights
Post by: adroth on April 17, 2017, 09:22:05 AM
Duterte says occupation in islands to only assert maritime rights
APRIL 11, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte assured China that his order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to occupy the nine islands in the South China Sea has no intention of provoking them but merely asserting its maritime rights to its exclusive properties.

“China can relax, we are friends. We will not go to war with you. We are just trying to maintain the balance of geopolitical situation there,” Duterte said during his departure speech before leaving for his official visits in the Middle East. (READ MORE)

http://specials.sunstar.com.ph/thepresident/2017/04/11/duterte-says-occupation-in-islands-to-only-assert-maritime-rights/
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 11:23:16 AM
Defense Sec. Lorenzana flies to Pag-asa Island for inspection
Published April 21, 2017 9:53am
By JESSICA BARTOLOME, GMA News
PAG-ASA ISLAND, Spratlys - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday conducted an inspection of the disputed Pag-asa Island (Thitu).

Together with several military officials, Lorenzana toured the facilities on the island that the government is planning to repair.

It was Lorenzana's first visit in his capacity as Department of National Defense chief.

"Kaya kami nandito dahil maraming gusto ipagawa ang ating mahal na Presidente," he told the military personnel residing in the island.

He added that the government has allocated funds for the repair of the runway, and for the improvement of the sewage system and the living conditions of the soldiers.

The Defense chief also reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to turn Pag-asa Island into a marine research facility and tourist attraction.

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/607825/defense-sec-lorenzana-flies-to-pag-asa-island-for-inspection/story?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=news#sthash.203faWfm.dpuf
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 11:38:35 AM
https://twitter.com/ANCALERTS/status/855253314560077824

===

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/zambrano-1.jpg)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/zambrano_details.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: israeli on April 21, 2017, 11:43:43 AM
https://twitter.com/ANCALERTS/status/855253314560077824

DND and AFP just have to get things done. maybe deploy military construction crews there to start the process without making any announcement. try to be ingenious by building structures using recycled container vans and the like.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 02:48:47 PM
PHL gov't to allocate PHP1.6-B to improve Pagasa Island facilities
By Priam F. Nepomuceno

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&sid=&nid=&rid=981514

PAGASA ISLAND, April 21 -- National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday morning the government will allocate PHP1.6 billion to improve the Rancudo Airfield in Pagasa Island and construct ports and beaching ramps in the locality.

Lorenzana made the announcement to Filipino troops and local government officials shortly after arriving here.

Priority will be given to the construction of a beaching ramp that will allow landing ship tanks and shallow draft vessels to transport and unload construction materials and other supplies in Pagasa Island, thus expediting the improvement works.

The defense chief said construction of the facility will start "immediately" so that it will be completed and operational before the rainy season starts.

Runway improvements include the concreting of the entire Rancudo Airfield to make it accessible during all types of weather.

Other improvements for Pagasa Island include the construction of a desalination plant, more solar panels and generator sets for power purposes, and the establishment of a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources marine research and shelter center.

More shelters will be also constructed for military personnel tasked to secure Pagasa Island and other Philippine-claimed features in the Spratly Islands.

Lorenzana further said he sees no violation in the Philippines' decision to improve its facilities in Pagasa Island, adding that the country should have done this before as other claimants in the Spratlys have already boosted and modernized their structures. (PNA)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 03:27:07 PM
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/lorenzana1.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/lorenzana2.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 03:58:55 PM
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/lorenzana_ano.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 11:23:46 PM
https://youtu.be/scGfSszvD90
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2017, 11:37:49 PM
Talking about "making a statement"

FF15 deployed to Pagasa Island for SND Lorenzana's visit

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ff15.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 22, 2017, 08:26:56 AM
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/world/asia/philippines-south-china-sea.html?_r=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F

Philippines Sends Defense Chief to Disputed South China Sea Island

BULLIT MARQUEZ / ASSOCIATED PRESS
By FELIPE VILLAMOR
APRIL 21, 2017

MANILA — The Philippines sent its top military officials on Friday to an island it occupies in the disputed South China Sea to reinforce the country’s claim.

Even before the military C-130 transport aircraft reached Pag-asa Island, also known as Thitu, the Chinese challenged the flight at least four times on radio as it passed through the region. China claims the island, as do Vietnam and Taiwan.

Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on April 22, 2017, 12:14:17 PM
And the expected blowback from China.......

http://pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=0&sid=&nid=0&rid=981716

Quote
China alarmed by PHL military officials’ visit to Pagasa Island
By Jelly F. Musico

BEIJING, April 22 -- China has lodged representations with the Philippine side following a visit by the Filipino defense and military officials in Pagasa Island, according to the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

”Gravely concerned about and dissatisfied with this, China has lodged representations with the Philippine side,” Lu Kang said in a press statement posted on China’s Foreign Ministry Affairs website.

Last Friday, Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Año, along with other military officials, visited Pagasa Island, a Philippine-occupied territory that is part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

Lu said the move of the Philippines defense and military officials has negated the important consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

”This move runs counter to the important consensus reached between the two leadership, which is to properly deal with the South China Sea issue,” Lu said.

Lu said China is hoping that the Philippine government would continue to cherish a five-decade China-Philippines bilateral relations which rejuvenated under the leadership of President Duterte.

”We hope that the Philippine side could faithfully follow the consensus reached between the two leadership, maintain general peace and stability in the South China Sea, and promote the sound and steady development of China-Philippine relations,” he said.

Since President Duterte’s visit in China last year, Lu said China and the Philippines have been keeping good communication to properly manage and resolve the maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

”We hope that this momentum can continue,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry official said.

In media reports, Lorenza described the trip to Pagasa Island as a “normal visit within our territory”.

”We believe and we know that this is our territory and I am just visiting to look at the conditions of our people here,” the top Filipino defense official said.

Pagasa Island was occupied by the Philippines in the late 1960s and is categorized as a fifth-class municipality of Palawan province.

Lorenza has revealed a plan to set aside at least PHP1.6 billion to develop Pagasa Island and a proposal by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to build a fish port in the area. (PNA)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on April 22, 2017, 12:16:57 PM
Send in the Seabees.

http://pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&nid=1&rid=981715

Quote
Special construction troops eyed for Pagasa Island projects: Lorenzana

MANILA, April 22 -- Specialized construction and engineering troops from the Philippine Navy and Air Force will play a key role in the upgrading of various facilities in Pagasa Island, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

This is especially true when it comes to building facilities involving ship docking and unloading of cargoes.

"We must first construct the so-called beaching ramp because if that facility is not yet ready, then we cannot bring in LSTs (landing ship, tanks) to bring in building materiel due to lack of docking facilities. So the beaching ramp is the first priority. The Navy already has a plan to build that and use their Seabees (Naval Construction Brigade) in constructing and completing that project before July," Lorenzana added in Filipino.

Engineering battalions from the Air Force could be deployed if needed.

He disclosed that once the beaching ramp is completed, construction activities can continue even in the most adverse weather as building supplies and engineering equipment can be stockpiled safely and easily.

Construction projects eyed for Pagasa Island include the concreting of the 1.2-km. Rancudo Airstrip, development of ports, installation of additional solar panels and generator sets, desalination plants, new quarters for military personnel, the establishment of a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources marine research and shelter center, and an ice plant for storing fish caught by the islanders.

These projects have a budget of PHP1.6 billion, Lorenzana added. (PNA)
PFN
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 23, 2017, 04:55:58 AM
April 20 at 11:51pm
PAG-ASA ISLAND. With CSAFP Gen Eduardo M Año and other defense officials at our Barangay Pag-Asa, Municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan, to check on the community and our troops. #WestPHSea #OneDefenseTeamPH #DelTheDefender #DefendersPH

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1-3.jpg)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-3.jpg)
Title: Quick-wins for Pag-asa
Post by: adroth on April 24, 2017, 10:58:13 AM
Plans to improve Pagasa Island, in the Kalayaan Island Group, have come and gone. Now . . . it's the Duterte administration's turn to give it a go.

Question: How would you fast-track the process

====

Special construction troops eyed for Pagasa Island projects: Lorenzana
April 22, 2017

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/981715

MANILA, April 22 -- Specialized construction and engineering troops from the Philippine Navy and Air Force will play a key role in the upgrading of various facilities in Pagasa Island, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

This is especially true when it comes to building facilities involving ship docking and unloading of cargoes.

"We must first construct the so-called beaching ramp because if that facility is not yet ready, then we cannot bring in LSTs (landing ship, tanks) to bring in building materiel due to lack of docking facilities. So the beaching ramp is the first priority. The Navy already has a plan to build that and use their Seabees (Naval Construction Brigade) in constructing and completing that project before July," Lorenzana added in Filipino.

Engineering battalions from the Air Force could be deployed if needed.

He disclosed that once the beaching ramp is completed, construction activities can continue even in the most adverse weather as building supplies and engineering equipment can be stockpiled safely and easily.

Construction projects eyed for Pagasa Island include the concreting of the 1.2-km. Rancudo Airstrip, development of ports, installation of additional solar panels and generator sets, desalination plants, new quarters for military personnel, the establishment of a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources marine research and shelter center, and an ice plant for storing fish caught by the islanders.

These projects have a budget of PHP1.6 billion, Lorenzana added. (PNA) PFN
Title: Re: Quick-wins for Pag-asa
Post by: adroth on April 24, 2017, 02:18:02 PM
Here's the runaround that the previous administration put up. In short . . . jack happened

http://adroth.ph/timeline-pag-asa-island-sheltered-port-project-updated-october-2014/

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1-3.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-2.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/3.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/4.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/5.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/6.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/7.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/8.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/9.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/10.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/11.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/12.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/14.png)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/15.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 26, 2017, 07:06:26 AM
'Pag-asa Island visit shows stronger PH position on sea disputes'
ABS-CBN News
Posted at Apr 24 2017 10:09 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2017 11:47 AM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/24/17/pag-asa-island-visit-shows-stronger-ph-position-on-sea-disputes
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on April 26, 2017, 08:10:29 AM
'Pag-asa Island visit shows stronger PH position on sea disputes'
ABS-CBN News
Posted at Apr 24 2017 10:09 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2017 11:47 AM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/24/17/pag-asa-island-visit-shows-stronger-ph-position-on-sea-disputes

Heydarian, who was interviewed on the ABS-CBN report, further expounds on his analysis in this Asia Times article:
(acknowledgement to the owner of another defense page who put it up on his FB page)

Quote
Duterte’s China honeymoon comes to a close

After a period of cordial ties Beijing and Manila are now openly sparring over their South China Sea disputes as both sides fortify their claims

By Richard Javad Heydarian Manila, April 25, 2017 3:24 PM

Ten months into Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte’s tenure, his strategic honeymoon with China has devolved into rocky relations. While the two sides will likely continue dialogue and negotiations to prevent armed conflict in the South China Sea and pursue more robust economic ties, both sides are simultaneously hardening their positions over contested territories.

That became starkly apparent during the recent diplomatic scuffle over Manila’s decision to dispatch top defense officials to a contested island feature in the Spratly islands. While China protested the move as a provocation, the Philippines portrayed the visit as routine, despite the fact no high level officials had traveled to the maritime feature in several years.

During his election campaign, Duterte expressed a strong interest in building more amicable and cooperative relations with Beijing, which he has said he views as a crucial partner for economic development. In that direction, shortly after his election win, Duterte vowed to adopt a more “independent” foreign policy which would be less reliant on the United States.

The tough-talking leader has prioritized improving ties with Beijing, which openly welcomed the departure of Duterte’s predecessor, Beningo Aquino, who had boosted strategic ties with the US and staked out what some viewed as a confrontational strategy in the South China Sea disputes. Duterte’s turn entailed several concessions to China that his critics claim could erode national sovereignty and security in pursuit of economic gains.

Those include a decision to deemphasize the Philippines’ landmark international arbitration win that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims in the South China Sea; cancellation of several joint military exercises with the US, namely the US-Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise (Carat); stopping the US from using Philippine ports for freedom of navigation operations; and refusal to allow the US to develop the strategic Bautista Airbase on the island province of Palawan.

In an increasingly strained balancing act, Duterte will no doubt continue to shower China with praise as he pursues closer economic ties. Duterte is scheduled to visit China in May to attend the One Road, One Belt (OBOR) mega-summit, where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in pursuit of new Chinese infrastructure investments. The two leaders met last year in Beijing in a tour many analysts at the time saw as a decisive diplomatic shift.

But China’s fast growing network of airbases and military facilities on disputed South China Sea land features, without a mutually acceptable modus vivendi in place to avoid conflicts at sea, has pushed his government and top generals to draw a harder line in the sand.

Philippine officials say they are adopting a more nuanced hedging strategy, whereby they bid to manage relations with China through a fluid mix of deterrence and engagement. In the past month, Manila has made clear that it seeks to fortify its position on features it claims in the South China Sea, as officials say both China and Vietnam are doing, and will no longer ignore the rising threat posed by China’s expanding strategic footprint in Philippine-claimed waters.

“We hope that the Philippine side could cherish the hard-won sound momentum of development [in] bilateral relations [we] are experiencing,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang in response to last week’s visit by top Filipino defense officials to disputed Spratly island features. “[China is] gravely concerned about and dissatisfied with this, [and] has lodged representations with the Philippine side.”

The ministry also cautioned Manila to “faithfully follow the consensus” reached between the two national leaders in October last year.

Ernesto Abella, Duterte’s spokesman, fired back by saying that the trip was “part of efforts to improve the safety, welfare, [and] livelihood of Filipinos residing and living in the municipality of Kalayaan,” using the Philippines’ preferred word for the Spratlys.

In response to reports that a nearby Chinese military detachment at Subi Reef tried to drive away the plane that carried Filipino defense officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the president’s office said “The Philippines has long been undertaking customary and routine maritime patrol and overflight in the West Philippine Sea,” and that they “are lawful activities under international law.”

Weeks earlier, Beijing was openly vexed when Duterte announced with bravado that he will visit and plant the Philippine flag in the hotly-disputed Thitu Island (Pag-asa to Filipinos), the second largest naturally-formed land feature in the Spratlys. The island, which hosts an airstrip and civilian and military populations, has been under Manila’s administration since the 1970s. He also ordered troops to occupy and protect Philippine-claimed land features in the area.

Duterte later cancelled his plan to visit the features, in a convoluted nod towards Beijing’s displeasure. “China sent word, ‘Please do not do that,’ Well, in the meantime, just do not go there. Please?'” Duterte said in explaining his decision to walk back his decision. “So, because of our friendship with China, and because we value your friendship, I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag. Maybe I’ll send my son.”

Soon thereafter Duterte gave the go-ahead to defense minister Delfin Lorenzana and armed forces chief of staff Eduardo Año to visit the disputed land feature, which China also considers part of its national territory under its wide-reaching nine-dash map. It was the first time in years that top Filipino defense officials traveled to the features. Lorenzana later described the trip as “routine.”

Unlike his predecessor Aquino, who prioritized mainly legal strategies against China, Duterte has earmarked 1.6 billion pesos (US$35 million) for the refurbishment and upgrade of Filipino facilities in the Spratlys. The supposedly China-friendly Duterte has thus ironically taken a tougher position on the ground, committing resources and deploying defense officials to strengthen the Philippines’ position.

Those efforts have been spearheaded by Lorenzana, a decorated general and former attaché to Washington who also hails from Duterte’s home island of Mindanao. In recent months, Lorenzana has been among the most outspoken advocates for more robust resistance against China’s maritime ambitions, while emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong security cooperation with America.

China is no doubt starting to realize that Duterte’s government, which has taken a more pragmatic position on the territorial disputes, will not be an easy strategic pushover, even with Beijing’s rich offers of economic assistance. In ‘good cop, bad cop’ fashion, the defense establishment is taking a stronger stand against China’s maritime ambitions near the Philippines’ coasts, while Duterte maintains a diplomatic charm offensive towards Beijing.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on April 27, 2017, 02:21:02 AM
https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1294631733956004/
Title: Duterte to China: It's PH duty to 'repair' Pag-asa Island facilities
Post by: adroth on May 02, 2017, 12:46:37 PM
Duterte to China: It's PH duty to 'repair' Pag-asa Island facilities

The Philippine President says repairs of facilities in Pag-asa Island will push through despite China's displeasure
Pia Ranada
@piaranada
Published 6:35 PM, May 01, 2017
Updated 9:05 PM, May 01, 2017

http://www.rappler.com/nation/168536-duterte-philippines-duty-repair-pag-asa-island-facilities   

PUSHING THROUGH. The Philippines will not junk its plans to improve Pag-asa Island facilities, says President Rodrigo Duterte, who is shown here as he visited Chinese warships docked in Davao City on May 1, 2017. Malacañang photo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte defended his plan to improve facilities in disputed Pag-asa Island amid China's declaration that such activities are "illegal."

"Yes of course, that's part of our duty as a nation," he said when asked by a reporter if he would continue his plans to improve facilities, including a runway and bunkhouses for military, in the island.

Duterte was giving an interview on Monday, May 1, right after visiting 3 Chinese warships docked at Sasa Wharf in Davao City.

Asked about statements from the Chinese embassy calling any activities by the Philippines on Pag-asa Island "illegal," Duterte downplayed the government's plans.

"It's just repairs. Well, they can always look away, look around," he said.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on May 11, 2017, 09:13:25 AM
No stopping PH construction on Pag-asa, says DND
By: Leila Salaverria, Philip C. Tubeza - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 01:41 AM May 05, 2017
Plans to construct more structures on Pag-asa Island in the Spratlys would go ahead despite claims by China it was illegal, officials said on Thursday.

But construction activities might take longer than expected as the government has to rebid portions of the construction project, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said that the government has an existing contract to develop the island, the biggest the Philippines controls in the Spratlys, but this might have to be renegotiated.

“We are still preparing because apparently, many years ago, there was already a contract to repair [facilities on the island]. So, we are reviving the contract,” Lorenzana said.

He said Luzviminda Corp., the company contracted to do the repairs, still existed and has said it was willing to undertake the project. “So they’re still [checking] if the price is right so that we can renegotiate the contract,” Lorenzana said.



Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/156080/no-stopping-ph-construction-pag-asa-says-dnd#ixzz4gjDrXECB
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Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on August 18, 2017, 03:26:48 PM
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

From the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative......

Quote
Confirming the Chinese Flotilla Near Thitu Island

ublished: August 17, 2017

On August 15, Philippine Congressman Gary Alejano released photographs of Chinese vessels, including fishing, coast guard, and navy ships, that he claimed had been operating within 1 to 3 nautical miles of Philippine-occupied Thitu, or Pag-asa, Island. Citing military sources, the congressman said that at least two fishing ships, two Chinese naval vessels, and a China Coast Guard ship were operating around Thitu by August 12, with others, including at least one more navy ship, arriving over the next three days. Thitu is the largest of the Philippines’ 10 occupied features in the Spratly Islands and is home to more than 100 Filipino civilians.

Alejano further claimed that the fishing ships included members of China’s maritime militia and that these vessels prevented a ship from the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from approaching the area on August 13. Finally, he said that a helicopter dispatched from one of the Chinese naval vessels was seen flying over unoccupied sandbars to the west/northwest of Thitu twice on August 15. All of this suggested to Alejano that, “The Chinese may have a sinister plan to occupy sandbars just west of Pag-asa that belong to us.”

So far neither Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana nor Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano have confirmed or denied Alejano’s claims. AMTI imagery of the area from August 13 can help shine some light on the situation. On that day, there were nine Chinese fishing ships and two naval/law enforcement vessels visible near Thitu (locations 1 and 2), with others possibly under cloud cover. It is impossible to know if any of those ships might be affiliated with the maritime militia, but at least two appear to be actively fishing (locations 6 and 8), with their nets visibly in the water. There also appears to be a Philippine fishing boat docked at the nearest of the unoccupied sandbars (location 12), possibly sent out from Thitu to investigate the Chinese presence.

The fishing vessels (locations 3-11) are all located between 1 and 5 nautical miles from Thitu, while the nearest military/law enforcement ship is about 3.6 nautical miles from the island. The ships are between 9 and 14.25 nautical miles from Chinese-occupied Subi Reef to the southwest. It is important to note that ownership of the territorial waters in which these ships are operating is still legally disputed. Subi was a low-tide elevation before China built an artificial island on it. As such, it does not generate its own territorial sea but could bump out the territorial sea of at least one of the unoccupied sand cays, which is dry at high tide and located less than 12 nautical miles from it. So it could be claimed that these ships are all operating within the territorial sea of both Thitu and the sand cay(s) with which Subi is associated.

Setting aside whether Chinese ships legally can fish within 1 nautical mile of Thitu Island, there is no doubt that doing so is highly provocative and runs counter to the narrative of a stable mutually-beneficial new status quo that Beijing has sought to project. The fact that law enforcement and naval vessels accompanied the fishermen makes it clear that this was not done without Chinese authorities being aware. At best, they permitted their operation. At worst, they escorted and guarded them. The number and rapid coordination of naval and coast guard ships suggests that this was purposely organized in advance and was not just an ad hoc response by government vessels that happened to be in the area.

One possible explanation for the flotilla’s sudden and provocative appearance is that Beijing wanted to dissuade Manila from planned construction on Thitu. The Philippine government has said it plans to spend about $32 million on upgrades including a beaching ramp, desalination facilities, and long-overdue repairs to the islet’s crumbling runway. Those upgrades have been delayed, reportedly due to inclement weather, but Lorenzana has made clear that they remain in the pipeline. In light of this week’s events, Manila might feel that those upgrades are even more urgent.

(https://i0.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Overview-Final-1.jpg?w=1196&h=1050&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i0.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-1-Final.jpg?w=396&h=239&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-2-Final.jpg?w=396&h=239&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i2.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-3-Final.jpg?w=396&h=239&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i0.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-4-Final.jpg?w=560&h=338&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-5-Final.jpg?w=632&h=338&crop&ssl=1)

(https://i2.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Location-6-Final.jpg?w=596&h=319&crop&ssl=1)

Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on August 27, 2017, 01:47:53 PM
FINALLY . . . the PN's own FB page shows improvements to BRP Sierra Madre

https://www.facebook.com/navalforceswest/posts/1448060261915503

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/21014077_1448060141915515_1469869556308146095_o.jpg)

That means . . . information about these improvements are fair game. This how the garrison NOW looks on Google Maps.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/google.png)

This is how it looked during the previous administration. Contrast this with the condition of the ship today. Details of what else has been done within the vessel are not open to the public.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayungin.jpg)

Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on September 03, 2017, 12:26:45 AM
ATIN ITO  |  PAG-ASA Island development to start soon
Posted by Alvin Santiago  on September 1, 2017 at 2:22 PM

http://dwdd.com.ph/2017/09/01/atin-ito-pag-asa-island-development-to-start-soon/

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – The Department of National Defense (DND) has awarded the contract for the construction of a ramp and tarmac in the Philippine-occupied PAGASA Island in the West Philippine Sea.

According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, they will leave it to the contractor’s decision on when they will start the construction of the said facilities, although it should be done before July because of the rough sea condition in the area during that period.

He added that right, the contractor would be have a hard time bringing in construction materials to the island because of bad weather and sea condition.

It can be recalled that the government announced the plan to develop PAGASA Island, which is currently being occupied by a military detachment and a small community.

< Edited >
Title: Lorenzana: Repairs of Pagasa Island 'to go on smoothly'
Post by: Kulas Mata on September 16, 2017, 09:24:33 PM
DESPITE China's adversarial stance, the Philippine government’s plan to improve the facilities in the disputed Pagasa Island would “go on smoothly,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday.

Speaking to Palace reporters, Lorenzana said the administration was expecting China’s protest as it proceeds with the repairs of dilapidated runway and construction of new facilities on Philippine-occupied Pagasa Island. But the Defense chief was confident that China would not carry out “violent actions” against the Philippines since both countries already established “good working relationship.”

“I don’t think they will do any violent action. They will protest. I was told by [Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua] that anything we do there, they are going to protest. It’s okay. Anyway, whatever you do there, they also protest,” Lorenzana said.

“What we are doing is improving our own, the islands that we are occupying. We have occupied since 1969, the first time we occupied those islands there in the Kalayaan Island Group. So that’s the status quo now. I’m sure that the repair of Pagasa will go on smoothly,” he added.

Lorenzana said the government had allocated P1.6 billion to restore the eroding facilities in the Pagasa Island.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/09/15/lorenzana-repairs-pagasa-island-go-smoothly-564288 (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/09/15/lorenzana-repairs-pagasa-island-go-smoothly-564288)

This comes after the Chinese have just donated 65 million pesos for the wounded AFP troops in Marawi. "Good working relationship" indeed. ;D
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on September 21, 2017, 05:43:47 PM
FINALLY . . . the PN's own FB page shows improvements to BRP Sierra Madre

https://www.facebook.com/navalforceswest/posts/1448060261915503

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/21014077_1448060141915515_1469869556308146095_o.jpg)

While the plans for making these improvements have been around for years . . . the decision to pull the trigger was actually made during THIS administration. Got multi-service confirmation on this point from well-known, and respected, Timawa / DefensePH sources on this point.

Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on October 01, 2017, 12:49:41 PM
Philippines Plans Low-Key Upgrades in Disputed Spratly Islands
September 29, 2017 1:45 AM
Ralph Jennings

https://www.voanews.com/a/philippines-upgrades-spratly-islands/4049381.html

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The Philippines has found funding for the biggest in a series of infrastructure upgrades planned on the islets it holds in the contested South China Sea, a move that will gently remind other countries, including China, of Manila’s claims.

Money from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program will next year fund the paving of a 1,300-meter-long gravel and dirt runway on Thitu Island, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted saying this month. Thitu anchors Manila’s holdings in the Spratly archipelago, which is also disputed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The runway upgrade is expected to lead to repairs of barracks, water systems and other infrastructure on nine Spratly islets controlled by the Philippines per a pledge in April from the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on November 08, 2017, 12:14:48 PM
While improvements on Pag-asa island proceed . . .

Quote
PHL starts construction near China's man-made islands in disputed waters
Published November 7, 2017 7:29pm

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/632272/phl-starts-construction-near-china-s-man-made-islands-in-disputed-waters/story/?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=news

The Philippines has started upgrading military facilities on the biggest features it occupies in the disputed South China Sea, its defense secretary said on Tuesday, asserting Manila's claims in the strategic waterway.

Delfin Lorenzana said a contractor was building a beach ramp on Thitu Island, locally known as Pag-asa (hope), the largest of nine features the Philippines holds in the Spratly islands.

"While construction is ongoing, albeit intermittently, depending on good weather, we expect its completion by early 2018," Lorenzana said, adding the monsoon rains have been hampering the building of the beach ramp.

"No construction can proceed without a good beaching ramp."

< Edited >

Lorenzana said the ramp was important to allow large naval ships to deliver construction materials to repair and upgrade the island's airfield, fix structures and build a new port for fishermen.

A small community lives on Thitu, ostensibly to prop up the country's claim, although conditions are basic compared to those enjoyed by Vietnamese and Chinese on other islands in the Spratly chain.

Defense department spokesman Arsenio Andolong said the government would spend more than 1.3 billion pesos ($25.3 million) for the upgrades on Thitu.

< Edited >

 . . . Duterte has reportedly stopped plans to build additional structures on previously unoccupied cays

Its worth noting that the latter does not actually affect the former.

Quote
Philippines backs down in S. China Sea after Beijing protest

Associated Press   
JIM GOMEZ
Associated PressNovember 7, 2017

https://ph.news.yahoo.com/philippines-backs-down-china-sea-beijing-protest-035122143.html

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stopped construction work on a newly formed sandbar in the disputed South China Sea after China protested, the defense chief said Wednesday, disclosing details of the new territorial spat for the first time.

The dispute over a string of sandbars called Sandy Cay emerged in August and prompted China and the Philippines to consider negotiating some sort of protocol or arrangement to allow both sides to prevent such incidents from spiraling out of control, Lorenzana said.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on November 09, 2017, 11:46:41 AM
PH hopes to finish beaching ramp in Spratlys by early 2018
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQINQUIRER.net / 04:03 PM November 07, 2017

The Philippines hopes to complete the construction of a beaching ramp on Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) by early 2018.

The construction of a beaching ramp is the first stage of the upgrade of the facilities in the disputed island. It will allow ships to dock so that heavy construction materials could be delivered.

Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said on Tuesday that the monsoon rains have hampered the construction of the ramp.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While its construction is ongoing albeit intermittently depending on good weather, we expect its completion by early 2018,” he told reporters.

When the beaching ramp is constructed, the government can further improve the rest of the facilities in the island, including the repair of the runway.

< Edited >

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/161508/west-philippine-sea-south-china-sea-pagasa-island-thitu-island-beaching-ramp-spratlys#ixzz4xu29G59w
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Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on December 31, 2017, 05:36:45 AM
From: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/SARO/2017/SARO%20RELEASES%20AS%20OF%20DECEMBER%2022,%202017.pdf

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/saro8050.png)


(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/saro0012083.png)

Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on January 10, 2018, 01:18:27 PM
PH gears again to fix runway in West PH Sea island after delays
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he is confident China will not protest the repairs, citing improved relations with the military superpower.

Carmela Fonbuena
@carmelafonbuena
Published 2:12 PM, January 09, 2018
Updated 3:37 PM, January 09, 2018

https://www.rappler.com/nation/193227-pag-asa-runway-repair-philippines?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nation

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines said it is again gearing to start repairs on its dilapidated runway on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a project that was already funded by the previous Aquino administration but which has continued to face delays.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military will improve facilities in the West Philippine Sea in the next months, prioritizing the runway of the Rancudo Airfield on the island inhabited by about a hundred Filipinos. (READ: The residents of Pag-asa: Life on disputed island)

"Mag-uumpisa this quarter, especially 'yung sa Pag-asa Island para maka-landing tayo any time of the day. In Pag-asa [today], we can only land after 5 days of continuous sunshine," Lorenzana said. (We will start this quarter, especially the one on Pag-asa Island so we can land any time of the day.)

< Edited >
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: El_Filibusterismo1978 on January 10, 2018, 01:39:01 PM
need pa talaga mag press release? napansin ko pag nag press release sila, nag alburuto ang kabila at nag make representations na wag na tuloy..

gawin na lang without any much fanfare..
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on January 10, 2018, 01:43:28 PM
need pa talaga mag press release? napansin ko pag nag press release sila, nag alburuto ang kabila at nag make representations na wag na tuloy..

gawin na lang without any much fanfare..

Most of what's already been done has actually been done secretly.

FINALLY . . . the PN's own FB page shows improvements to BRP Sierra Madre

https://www.facebook.com/navalforceswest/posts/1448060261915503

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/21014077_1448060141915515_1469869556308146095_o.jpg)

That means . . . information about these improvements are fair game. This how the garrison NOW looks on Google Maps.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/google.png)

This is how it looked during the previous administration. Contrast this with the condition of the ship today. Details of what else has been done within the vessel are not open to the public.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ayungin.jpg)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on May 26, 2018, 08:43:33 AM
Related discussion on the forum's FB extension: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1677189702366870/

=====

https://amti.csis.org/philippines-launches-spratly-repairs/

Quote
Philippines Launches Spratly Runway Repairs
Published: May 25, 2018

The Philippines has begun long-delayed repairs to its crumbling runway at Thitu, or Pag-asa, Island, the largest of its nine outposts in the Spratly Islands and home to upwards of 100 civilians and a small military garrison. Thitu sits just over 12 nautical miles from China’s air and naval base at Subi Reef, and was the site of a tense standoff with a Chinese flotilla last August. Philippine defense officials in April 2017 announced that they would be upgrading facilities at the country’s occupied islands and reefs, but little work was apparent until now. In addition to the runway repairs, a comparison of recent imagery with photos from February 2017 shows minor upgrades to facilities on Thitu and three other outposts in the last year.

(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thitu_5_17_18_R1C1-wm_final.jpg?w=576&h=394&ssl=1)

Quote
Satellite imagery from May 17 shows two barges anchored just off the western edge of the Thitu Island runway, which collapsed into the sea years ago. It appears that a grab dredger, consisting of a crane with a clamshell bucket, is installed on the smaller barge to the west, while the other carries a backhoe. Loose sediment from dredging can be seen in the water around the two barges and freshly-deposited sand is visible along the northern edge of the runway.

This method of dredging is similar to that used by Vietnam at several of its outposts in recent years. While still harmful to the marine environment, it affects surrounding reefs at a smaller scale and is far less environmentally destructive than the suction cutter dredging undertaken by China, which destroyed thousands of acres of reef from late 2013 to early 2017.

(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ThituSnapZoom2_5_17_18_R1C1-Upscaled-wm.jpg?w=1196&h=819&ssl=1)

Quote
According to 2014 reports, when repairs were previously mooted, the repair process would involve two steps. First, dredgers would clear a small harbor on Thitu near the runway. The coral reef surrounding Thitu makes it impossible for large ships to approach, as evidenced by the rusting hulk of the BRP Lanao del Norte, a Philippine Navy ship that ran aground in 2004 while trying to dock. Once dredgers have cleared a harbor and an approach, larger ships carrying the heavy machinery necessary to repair the runway would be able to dock and begin the second step, focused on the runway.

The airstrip at Thitu Island was originally constructed in the 1970s and was the first runway in the Spratly Islands. It is officially 1,300 meters long, but the real figure is closer to 1,200 due to the collapse of the western end. That, along with the poor condition of the runway surface, makes landings and takeoffs difficult for Philippine C-130s like the one that carried Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr., then chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to the island in May 2015:

In addition to the start of work on the runway, other upgrades are visible around Thitu. At least seven new buildings have been constructed in the last year, with four near the residential area on the eastern side of the island, one near the administrative facilities at its center, another along the northern shore, and one at the western end next to the island’s basketball court, which has received a fresh coat of paint. Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in November that the country had started building a new beach ramp to more easily bring in supplies, but that site cannot be seen in the May 17 imagery due to cloud cover and no new ramp was visible as recently as February.

(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/thitu_east_05172018_shadowed_wm.jpg?w=794&h=584&ssl=1)
(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thitu_Center_5_17_18_shadowed-wm.jpg?w=398&h=272&ssl=1)
(https://i1.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/thitu_north_snip_z20_shadowed-wm.jpg?w=398&h=308&ssl=1)
(https://i0.wp.com/amti.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thitu_BB_5_17_18_R1C1-Upscaled_shadowed-wm.jpg?w=1196&h=819&ssl=1)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on May 27, 2018, 11:57:41 PM
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/05/27/Palace-harry-roque-spratlys-construction-amti.html

Quote
Palace defends Philippine construction in Spratlys
By Luchi de Guzman, CNN Philippines

Updated 19:19 PM PHT Sun, May 27, 2018

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) — The Palace defends the construction and repairs on Pag-asa island reported by a U.S.-based think tank.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said these repairs fall within the Philippines' mandate.

"Repair of port facilities in Pag-asa is consistent with our national sovereignty and jurisdiction," Roque said in a statement Saturday.

Satellite photos from a the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) showed the Philippines is doing its own repairs on occupied islands in the Spratlys.

The Spratlys, an island group west of Palawan, is subject to overlapping claims of countries like China, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. China claims almost the entire South China Sea where an estimated $3 trillion worth of sea-borne goods pass every year.

The country has nine outposts in the Spratlys, as set in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with Pag-asa being the largest of the nine features.

The AMTI on Saturday reported that the Philippines has been repairing the runways on Pag-asa Island (international name: Thitu Island).

"Thitu sits just over 12 nautical miles from China's air and naval base at Subi Reef, and was the site of a tense standoff with a Chinese flotilla last August," the AMTI said.

AMTI satellite photos from May 17 showed two dredging vessels found west of Pag-asa island, fixing the collapsed airplane runway.

"Loose sediment from dredging can be seen in the water around the two barges and freshly-deposited sand is visible along the northern edge of the runway," the AMTI said.

While the think tank noted that dredgers like the ones used by the Philippines and Vietnam can still harm marine environment, it is still less harmful than the suction cutter dredging method used by China.

The dredging, it added, is needed to allow larger vessels carrying heavy machinery and construction materials to approach the island.

The AMTI also noted seven new buildings constructed on Pag-asa, and that the basketball court has received a fresh coat of paint.

Pag-asa is home to at least a hundred Filipinos and a small military garrison.

Satellite photos also featured new construction in other Philippine occupied features in the Spratlys, namely Rizal Reef (international name: Commodore reef), Lawak Island (international name: Nanshan island) and Panata Island (international name: Loaita cay) within the year.

A new shelter has been built on Rizal Reef and Panata Island, while Lawak Island has a new helipad.

There have been no visible repairs or upgrades in the five remaining Philippine-occupied features in the disputed island region.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on May 28, 2018, 04:58:30 AM
When the truth is stranger than fiction, and most commentators have been out of the loop. The truth is finally out. Construction has been going on for the better part of a year... preparations for this move, happened the previous year.


Quote
Palace defends Philippine construction in Spratlys

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/05/27/Palace-harry-roque-spratlys-construction-amti.html

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) — The Palace defends the construction and repairs on Pag-asa island reported by a U.S.-based think tank.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said these repairs fall within the Philippines' mandate.

"Repair of port facilities in Pag-asa is consistent with our national sovereignty and jurisdiction," Roque said in a statement Saturday.

Satellite photos from a the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) showed the Philippines is doing its own repairs on occupied islands in the Spratlys....

...The AMTI on Saturday reported that the Philippines has been repairing the runways on Pag-asa Island (international name: Thitu Island).

"Thitu sits just over 12 nautical miles from China's air and naval base at Subi Reef, and was the site of a tense standoff with a Chinese flotilla last August," the AMTI said.

READ: Alejano: Chinese vessels seen near Pag-asa islands

AMTI satellite photos from May 17 showed two dredging vessels found west of Pag-asa island, fixing the collapsed airplane runway...

...The dredging, it added, is needed to allow larger vessels carrying heavy machinery and construction materials to approach the island...

...Satellite photos also featured new construction in other Philippine occupied features in the Spratlys, namely Rizal Reef (international name: Commodore reef), Lawak Island (international name: Nanshan island) and Panata Island (international name: Loaita cay) within the year.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on May 31, 2018, 01:39:12 AM
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/30/1820046/philippines-build-5-lighthouses-spratly-islands

Quote
Philippines to build 5 lighthouses in Spratly Islands
(philstar.com) - May 30, 2018 - 1:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government is building five lighthouses in South China Sea features occupied by the Philippines to ensure the safety of transiting ships and to improve the living conditions of Filipinos in the area, an official said Wednesday.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said lighthouses are being constructed in Pag-asa, Parola, Likas, Patag and Kota, islets that are part of the Spratly Islands. 

"We are upgrading facilities for the comfort of our people," Esperon said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Manila.

"Lighthouses are now being constructed features held by the Philippines to ensure safety of navigation, along our responsibility under the UNCLOS (United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea) to provide navigational safety for all international vessels transiting the West Philippine Sea," he added.

Esperon said the construction of lighthouses, which costs about P10 million, is part of the government's effort to upgrade Philippine-claimed features in the West Philippine Sea. The government is also upgrading port and airstrip facilities in Pag-asa island, the largest of the nine features controlled by the Philippines in the Spratly Islands.

"This is necessary for trade, the preservation of the livelihood of the fisherfolk, and the timely delivery of basic necessities of the community in the municipality
of Pag-asa," the national security adviser said.

"It is but natural (to carry out upgrades) because we have a fishing community there," he added.

Esperon said the upgrade and repair of the runway on Pag-asa, which China calls Thitu island, would allow the government to send supplies to troops stationed in the area.
 
China claims historic rights over about 90 percent of the South China Sea including Spratly Islands while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

While China has been aggressively building new structures, including military facilities, in disputed areas, planned improvements in Philippine-held features were delayed to avoid tensions.

Earlier this month, think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported that the Philippines has started the repairs on Pag-asa island, which is inhabited by about 100 Filipinos. Upgrades were also observed on Lawak Island, Panata Island and Rizal Reef. — Alexis Romero
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: eagle from davao on May 31, 2018, 11:50:30 AM
The key of these improvements is secrecy. Keep out the media and dont feed them even tiny bit of info.  Make this repairs and improvement  silent. and make an effort to distract the media away from it. Then AFP can make a full blown improvements and add more structures  with speed. Kudos to Navy and Air Force.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on June 01, 2018, 08:35:54 AM
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/30/1820046/philippines-build-5-lighthouses-spratly-islands

Quote
Philippines to build 5 lighthouses in Spratly Islands
(philstar.com) - May 30, 2018 - 1:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government is building five lighthouses in South China Sea features occupied by the Philippines to ensure the safety of transiting ships and to improve the living conditions of Filipinos in the area, an official said Wednesday.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said lighthouses are being constructed in Pag-asa, Parola, Likas, Patag and Kota, islets that are part of the Spratly Islands. 

"We are upgrading facilities for the comfort of our people," Esperon said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Manila.

"Lighthouses are now being constructed features held by the Philippines to ensure safety of navigation, along our responsibility under the UNCLOS (United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea) to provide navigational safety for all international vessels transiting the West Philippine Sea," he added.

Esperon said the construction of lighthouses, which costs about P10 million, is part of the government's effort to upgrade Philippine-claimed features in the West Philippine Sea. The government is also upgrading port and airstrip facilities in Pag-asa island, the largest of the nine features controlled by the Philippines in the Spratly Islands.

"This is necessary for trade, the preservation of the livelihood of the fisherfolk, and the timely delivery of basic necessities of the community in the municipality
of Pag-asa," the national security adviser said.

"It is but natural (to carry out upgrades) because we have a fishing community there," he added.

Esperon said the upgrade and repair of the runway on Pag-asa, which China calls Thitu island, would allow the government to send supplies to troops stationed in the area.
 
China claims historic rights over about 90 percent of the South China Sea including Spratly Islands while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

While China has been aggressively building new structures, including military facilities, in disputed areas, planned improvements in Philippine-held features were delayed to avoid tensions.

Earlier this month, think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported that the Philippines has started the repairs on Pag-asa island, which is inhabited by about 100 Filipinos. Upgrades were also observed on Lawak Island, Panata Island and Rizal Reef. — Alexis Romero

Looks like this project that was announced last January actually went forward.

From: http://www.philgeps.gov.ph/GEPSNONPILOT/Tender/SplashBidNoticeAbstractUI.aspx?menuIndex=3&refID=5114123&highlight=true

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/kigbuoy.png)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: dr demented on June 08, 2018, 01:00:31 PM
Progress on the construction of a landing dock at Pagasa Island.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/06/07/landing-dock-in-pagasa-island-40-percent-repaired-lorenzana/

Quote
Landing dock in Pagasa Island 40 percent repaired — Lorenzana

Published June 7, 2018, 5:57 PM
By Francis Wakefield

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Thursday said the landing dock in Pagasa Island, Palawan is 40 percent repaired.

Lorenzana made the remark during an ambush interview during the Air Force Symposium 2018 held at the Commissioned Officers Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“So far we are still repairing the landing dock of our LSD or Dock landing ship. Without that we cannot bring materials,” Lorenzana told reporters.

“It’s going along. They said last month the landing dock is 40 percent finish. It started construction late last year,” he said.

Lorenzana, however, said that construction might be interrupted especially in July, August, September, and October due to the rainy season.

“The sea is very rough during those months. It will depend if the contractors will have a good timing of bringing in the materials then we can start,” he said.

When asked if the repair in Pagasa has experienced any form of harassment from the Chinese, Lorenzana said there was none.

“No, no. There are no, there were no harassment. In fact, we already brought a crane there. The beaching ramp is almost finished. Once that is finished we can bring in more construction materials, the gravel, the sand, and the cement because there are no sources there, and these materials are coming still from the mainland,” he said.

When sought to comment about the harassment supposedly of a Navy boat during a resupply in Ayungin Shoal last May 11, 2018.

“That is a very isolated incident and I think that has been already resolved between the Philippines and China,” he said.

He also denied that the country has already lost Sandy Cay, Lorenzana said nothing is lost there “Because nobody has occupied the Sandy Cay, nobody”.

Lorenzana earlier said that government has allocated some P1.6 billion to improve facilities on Pagasa (Thitu) Island, part of the Kalayaan Group of Islands west of Southern Palawan.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on August 14, 2018, 11:06:46 PM
Lorenzana sees repair of Pag-asa runway in Spratlys finished by end of 2019
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net / 07:40 PM August 14, 2018

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/169046/lorenzana-sees-repair-of-pag-asa-runway-in-spratlys-finished-by-end-of-2019

The eroded airstrip on Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will be completed before the end of next year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Asked about the status of the rehabilitation of the island, the defense chief said the construction of the beaching ramp continues and may be finished by yearend. This will allow ships to transport construction materials for the runway later on.

“They are trying to build the beaching ramp. We need the beaching ramp because, without that, we cannot bring any equipment, we cannot bring in the bulldozers, plus the materials to rebuild the runway,” he told reporters Tuesday on the sidelines of the formal acceptance ceremony of a surveillance system from the US.

< Edited >

=====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/27amti1.jpg)

LONG-NEEDED UPGRADE A May 17 satellite photo (left) from the Washington-based think tank, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, shows two barges off the western tip of the airstrip on Pag-asa Island dredging the seabed to repair the dilapidated runway. The May 16 photo at right shows a closer view of one of the barges at work on the 1.3-kilometer crumbling coral airstrip that has become dangerous to aircraft.
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on August 31, 2018, 02:15:13 AM
INVITATION TO BID
SUPPLY AND DELIVERY OF ONE (1) LOT VARIOUS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS AT KALAYAAN ISLAND GROUP (KIG) PALAWAN FOR THE PHILIPPINE NAVY (PN)
Bid Reference No. MPG-BI-2018-236

https://www.philgeps.gov.ph/GEPSNONPILOT/Tender/SplashBidNoticeAbstractUI.aspx?menuIndex=3&refID=5488526&highlight=true

Approved Budget for the Contract – P 67,350,356.98
1.   The Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) and the Philippine Navy (PN) intend to apply the sum of PESOS: Sixty Seven Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Three Hundred Fifty Six and 98/100 (=P 67,350,356.98) (Inclusive of VAT) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payment under the contract for the Supply and Delivery of One (1) Lot Various Construction Materials for Various Projects at Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) Palawan for the Philippine Navy (PN)


====


Item No.     Product/Service Name     Description     Quantity     UOM     Budget (PHP)
1     CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIES     VARIOUS     1     Lot     66,115,397.10
                             
                             
2     COMMUNICATIONS TOWERS     VARIOUS     1     Lot     1,234,959.88

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/27amti1-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
Post by: adroth on November 01, 2018, 02:29:37 AM
Pagasa Island beaching ramp in Spratlys 40% complete — Lorenzana
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net / 03:02 PM October 31, 2018

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday that the beaching ramp at Pagasa Island (Thitu), the biggest Philippine-claimed outpost in the Spratly Islands, is 40 percent complete.

The beaching ramp was originally targeted to be finished by yearend so the repair of Rancudo Airfield will begin in 2019.

< Edited >

Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/170716/pagasa-island-beaching-ramp-in-spratlys-40-complete-lorenzana#ixzz5VXDZLbZH
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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on December 12, 2018, 03:56:21 PM
Philippines to complete Pag-asa Island repairs by 2019
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - December 7, 2018 - 5:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expecting to finish the repairs of the runway on Pag-asa (Thitu) Island in the West Philippine Sea by the end of 2019, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

In May, Washington-based Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative released satellite imagery showing repairs have begun at the Rancudo Airfield on Pag-asa Island, one of the largest features in the Spratly Islands.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines recently started constructing a beach ramp and a mooring bollard on the island.

"When completed, these will facilitate the transport of materials for repair and concreting of the airstrip," Lorenzana said in a speech at the Pilipinas Conference 2018 in Makati City.

As part of its efforts to protect national territory and uphold sovereignty, the armed forces also facilititated hydrographic reconnaissance and site survey of Mavulis Island in Batanes.

< Edited >

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/07/1875038/philippines-complete-pag-asa-island-repairs-2019?fbclid=IwAR2Y1xdW903G6gSJ71mG9NBRQovjz3jtCKqshn0VszI6C2F1psBtDvZQ7bA#eiKYETj2F87ksZUC.99
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on January 15, 2019, 07:07:04 PM
https://twitter.com/China_SCS_info/status/1084726063739990016?s=17&fbclid=IwAR1qHmtQVEzAvdSU0WCndtZ22Oc65-jpjrtiiqcT7gImE42Y7T3BoBXz3Vs

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/1-10.jpg)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on February 05, 2019, 11:52:59 PM
Pag-asa Island beaching ramp completed soon: Lorenzana
By Priam Nepomuceno  February 5, 2019, 12:17 pm

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1061012?fbclid=IwAR1URcUS0cP42_rBA-Hm0Se4wY-7mWbCMDj95KHC9hLjQ4Ug23l3Ez_d8pg

MANILA -- Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said efforts are ongoing to rehabilitate all existing facilities on Pag-asa Island, the largest of the Philippine-occupied feature in the Kalayaan Island Group.

He made this statement Monday when sought for an update on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts on the island, during the question and answer portion of National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Forum, which was dubbed "The National Security Outlook for the Philippines in 2019".

"Our rehabilitation of Pag-asa, it's ongoing, the building of the beaching ramp to be used by the Navy is still ongoing because of (the) rough seas, they have to stop to jive the construction when the sea is a little bit more calm, the problem with Pag-asa is that you have to bring in everything you need for its repair -- steel bars, sand, gravel, heavy equipment," Lorenzana said.

To expedite these efforts, the DND chief said the construction of the beaching ramp has to be completed so that these items can be brought in.

"Without that, you have to anchor (the ship carrying these supplies) and bring these (items) in by small (boats)," he added.

Lorenzana, however, said he expects the beaching ramp to be completed by the first quarter of this year.

"I believe it should be finished by first quarter of this year, this beaching ramp, and after that we can bring in all the heavy equipment to pave the runway (Rancudo Airfield). We have to pave it so that we can use it every day if we want to, even if there is inclement weather for as long as the runway is hard, and there is also plan to lengthen it some more to accommodate larger aircraft, also we are also building some facilities there for our personnel and also helping on the residents in the area," he added. (PNA)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on February 07, 2019, 12:30:38 PM
IN PHOTOS: PH Spratlys construction triggers China paramilitary response
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net / 10:35 AM February 07, 2019

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/172981/in-photos-ph-spratlys-construction-triggers-china-paramilitary-response
 

MANILA, Philippines — China deployed a large paramilitary force late last year in an apparent response to the  ongoing construction by the Philippines on Pagasa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), new satellite images have showed.

“A handful of Chinese vessels have operated in the area between Subi and Thitu since at least July 2018, likely in response to the initial Philippine effort to start runway repairs last May. But their numbers increased to at least 24 on December 3, just before the current construction operations began,” the Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said in its latest update on Thursday.

“In five subsequent satellite images captured from mid-December to late January, their numbers fluctuate, reaching a high of 95 on December 20 before dropping to 42 by January 26,” it said.

Quote
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2-9.jpg)

A Dec. 14 satellite image shows a barge anchored off the west coast of Pagasa Island as part of the construction of a beaching ramp./ ASIA MARITIME TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE

The report said the fishing boats have mostly been anchored between 2 and 5.5 nautical miles west of Pagasa, while the naval and coast guard ships operate slightly farther away to the south and west.

China’s ‘cabbage strategy’

“This deployment is consistent with prior examples of China’s ‘cabbage strategy,’ which employs concentric layers of fishing, law enforcement, and naval vessels around contested areas,” the report said.

An assessment of the AMTI said these vessels are part of China’s maritime militia. These vessels do not actually fish but intimidate other claimants in the South China Sea.

< Edited >

“The fishing vessels display all the hallmarks of belonging to China’s maritime militia, including having no gear in the water that would indicate fishing activity and disabling their Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceivers to hide their activities (for instance, on December 20 only 1 of the 95 or more vessels engaged in the deployment transmitted AIS data),” the report said.

In a satellite image taken Dec. 20, a PLAN Type 053H1G (Jianghu V-class) frigate and a CCG (Chinese Coast Guard) Type 818 (Zhaoduan-class) cutter were seen near Pagasa Island. Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz was also spotted southeast of Pagasa, just over 7 nautical miles from the Chinese frigate.

Quote
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/3-6.jpg)

Philippine Navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz spotted near Pagasa Island on Dec. 20. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Satellite images from Jan. 11 showed one PLAN and one CCG ship, likely a Type 056 corvette and a Type 718B cutter near Pagasa. On Jan. 26, only a CCG Type 718B was spotted.

< Edited >

‘Much less destructive’

The construction of a beaching ramp on Pagasa had been facing delays due to rough seas, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said earlier this week. It was supposed to be completed in 2018 but it was moved to the first quarter of 2019.

The AMTI first reported the ongoing construction on Pagasa in May 2018. Based on satellite images, the new construction started on mid-December, as no apparent work was ongoing in imagery taken early December.

“Satellite imagery from December 13 and 14, 2018 show a barge anchored off the west coast of the island with excavators and a bulldozer in the process of depositing and grading sand to extend the small existing causeway to the edge of the reef—presumably creating the beaching ramp referred to by Lorenzana,” the report said.

Quote
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/4-3.jpg)

A Dec. 14 satellite image shows a barge anchored off the west coast of Pagasa Island as part of the construction of a beaching ramp. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

But the AMTI said the satellite images from Jan. 11 and 26 this year showed that the reclamation work is more than a simple beaching ramp: “Both images are partially obscured by clouds, but they reveal excavators depositing sand over an area of approximately 8 acres, or more than 32,000 square meters, to the north of the existing causeway.”

< Edited >

“Manila appears intent on upgrading its facilities in the Spratlys despite any détente or objections from Beijing. But those plans continue to face delays and their scope is much more modest than those undertaken by China or even Vietnam,” the report read.

Other PH facilities in Spratlys

Other Philippine-controlled islands in the Spratlys also continued to see minor upgrades in the latter part of the year. Between May and November 2018, a lighthouse was built on the western shore of Likas (West York) Island, the AMTI said.

The Philippines announced last year that it plans to build five lighthouses in the West Philippine Sea.

Meanwhile, a Philippine flag was also painted on the roof of a shelter built in Kota Island (Loaita Cay) on Dec. 8 last year, as seen on a satellite image.

< Edited >


Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/172981/in-photos-ph-spratlys-construction-triggers-china-paramilitary-response#ixzz5eocRwuJV
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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on March 19, 2019, 12:01:28 PM
INVITATION TO BID
SUPPLY AND DELIVERY OF ONE (1) LOT VARIOUS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF KALAYAAN ISLAND GROUP (KIG) DETACHMENT FOR THE PHILIPPINE NAVY (PN)
Bid Reference No. MPG-BI-2019-198
Approved Budget for the Contract – P 66,115,397.10

https://www.philgeps.gov.ph/GEPSNONPILOT/Tender/SplashBidNoticeAbstractUI.aspx?menuIndex=3&refID=6082562&highlight=true

1. The Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) and the Philippine Navy (PN) intend to apply the sum of PESOS: Sixty Six Million One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Three Hundred Ninety Seven and 10/100 (=P 66,115,397.10) (Inclusive of VAT) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payment under the contract for the Supply and Delivery of One (1) Lot VARIOUS Construction Materials for the Development of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) Detachment for the Philippine Navy (PN) more particularly described as follows:

Description

One (1) Lot VARIOUS Construction Materials for the Development of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) Detachment
ABC (PhP) (VAT Inclusive) 66,115,397.10

Funding Source SAA No. 1217-4508C dated 11 December 2017

Date Published   12/03/2019
Last Updated / Time   12/03/2019 12:00 AM
Closing Date / Time   08/04/2019 4:00 PM
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on April 04, 2019, 12:46:23 AM
AFP: Chinese ships could be watching Pag-asa repairs
(philstar.com) - April 3, 2019 - 3:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese ships loitering in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea could be monitoring the Philippines' repairs on the island, the military confirmed.

For months, hundreds of Chinese vessels have been spotted in the area of the island, one of the largest in the Spratly Islands.

Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, confirmed that the foreign vessels are deployed to show their presence.

"At the same time, we have an ongoing project at Pag-asa Island — and this has been repeatedly observed — we think it's part of their surveillance," Arevalo told radio dzMM on Tuesday.

The Philippines started repairing the dilapidated runway on Pag-asa Island as early as May last year. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the repairs are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

< Edited >

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/04/03/1906979/afp-chinese-ships-could-be-watching-pag-asa-repairs?fbclid=IwAR0ipSF6X-ZaaB0zuLE2YgmLBAemSFyv4olnzy0oSgtdgrFeHz9L79JIS1A#LCBT1zccVh1POSP7.99
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on April 05, 2019, 12:01:58 PM
Duterte won’t allow China to take over Pag-asa Island
By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ INQUIRER.net / 10:53 PM April 04, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday assured that he will not allow China to occupy the Philippine-held Pag-asa Island amid the reported surge of vessels from a Chinese fishing fleet around the area.

“Pag-asa Island belongs to us. Is that ‘yung base natin? China would never do that, I assure you unless China wants a war with us. Hindi ako papayag kung pati ‘yung Pag-asa i-occupy nila (I will not allow them to occupy Pag-asa),”  Duterte told reporters in an interview in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

< Edited >

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1103368/duterte-wont-allow-china-to-take-over-pag-asa-island#ixzz5kBrqf4DR
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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 10, 2019, 12:23:17 PM
‘Pag-asa island beach ramp almost complete’
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The construction of a beach ramp on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea is nearing completion, a defense official said.

“It’s ongoing... We intend to fasttrack the repair of facilities, including the Rancudo airfield, in the island town,” the official, who asked not to be identified, said.

< Edited >

The beach ramp is meant to expedite the delivery of construction equipment and materials.

< Edited >


Read more at https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/05/09/1916221/pag-asa-island-beach-ramp-almost-complete?fbclid=IwAR0H33QupTzcPdEDfMslGQ_8GlXEirEyfwfvGg23CK71bw7MzZ6wvVcKIE4#eF2EdA5QmgrqGeYx.99
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 20, 2019, 12:37:53 AM
Solon backs Pag-asa seaport project amid growing Chinese presence
By Jose Cielito Reganit May 8, 2019, 9:23 pm

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069239

MANILA -- The growing presence of Chinese maritime militia vessels around Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) makes it imperative for government to push through with its plans to construct a seaport in the remote Philippine territory, a ranking lawmaker at the House of Representatives said Wednesday.

In a statement, House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza noted that in the 2017 General Appropriations Act, Congress has allotted PHP450 million in capital outlay to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the Barangay Pag-asa Port Project.

“Where's the PHP 450-million seaport? We hope the DOTr is still pushing through with the project, which has become absolutely imperative for us to encourage more Filipinos to live on the remote island,” Atienza said, noting the need for the Philippines to bolster its claims in the WPS.

Located 518 km. northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Pag-asa belongs to the Kalayaan Island Group at the western section of the Spratly archipelago and has been occupied by the Philippines since 1970.

At present, Pag-asa has less than 400 residents, mostly fishermen and their families.

Meanwhile, Atienza pointed out that the DOTr could take advantage of an ongoing project of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Pag-asa to build the planned seaport.

Now would be an excellent time for the DOTr to carry out the project, considering that the military is set to complete the construction of a beaching ramp on the island,” Atienza said.

The beaching ramp being built by the DND is intended to expedite the delivery of construction equipment and materials after President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2017 ordered the reinforcement of Pag-asa.

The DND is initially focusing its efforts on paving the island’s crumbling 1.3-kilometer airstrip.

Amid the ongoing construction, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has monitored an extraordinary surge of vessels from a Chinese fishing fleet around Pag-asa.

For the first quarter of 2019 alone, more than 600 Chinese fishing vessels have been recorded surrounding the sandbars of the Philippine-occupied island.

According to Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, these boats are intended to intimidate other claimants and to stop the development work currently underway on Pag-asa Island.

The entire Spratly archipelago is being claimed by China, but a tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in July 2016 that Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea could not be overlapped by any possible entitlement of China. (PNA)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 13, 2019, 06:38:42 AM
Chinese maritime militia: What can the Philippines do? | Inquirer.net - April 04, 2019

Quote
Dozens of Chinese vessels have been maintaining their presence on a daily basis around the Philippine-occupied island in the last three months. The military said over 600 vessels have come and gone for the first quarter of 2019 alone.

Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) had also reported extensively on these Chinese fishing fleets with accompanying satellite photos. It said these vessels, which are usually stationary, are not actually fishing but are merely intimidating other claimants.

The military said the vessels are likely monitoring the development work currently underway at Pag-asa Island. But despite their presence, soldiers are undeterred continuing with their patrols as construction in the area remains unhampered.
[/size]

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/174138/chinese-maritime-militia-what-can-the-philippines-do
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 28, 2019, 01:36:46 PM
Improvements on Pag-asa finally visible on Google Earth

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2-14.jpg)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on October 02, 2019, 11:17:46 PM
To view these images on Google Earth, use the "Show historical imagery" option

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/1-1.jpg)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2.jpg)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on October 12, 2019, 03:40:44 PM
http://www.fsi.gov.ph/a-demonstration-of-resolve-in-pag-asa-island/
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on December 08, 2019, 03:45:29 PM
DND chief: Bad weather delays Pag-asa buildup
By: Melvin Gascon - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM December 07, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Delays have yet again hampered the construction of the beaching ramp on the Philippines’ biggest island outpost in the West Philippine Sea, which Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said will not be completed before year-end.

In a Viber message to reporters on Friday, Lorenzana said bad weather on Pag-asa Island caused the breakdown of construction equipment.

“Because of bad weather, it is difficult to transport materials from Puerto Princesa (Palawan province). Second, when an equipment bogs down it takes time to have it repaired,” the defense chief said.

The Philippine Navy has commissioned a private contractor to build the beaching ramp on Pag-asa, as the Philippine government prepares to  undertake improvements on the island’s unpaved 1,300-meter airstrip.

< Edited >

The defense department set the initial target date of completion at the end of 2018. Then Lorenzana said last July the ramp will be completed by the end of this year.

< Edited >

Citing updates by Commodore Renato David, commander of the Naval Forces West, Lorenzana dismissed reports that the delay was caused by the pullout of the contractor.

Lorenzana had earlier said the project is 71-percent complete, with a total of 17 workers on board.

< Edited >

Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/182421/dnd-chief-bad-weather-delays-pag-asa-buildup#ixzz67V2AN4up
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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on March 08, 2020, 06:26:16 AM
https://twitter.com/IndoPac_Info/status/1235778685560647682?s=20

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 20, 2020, 01:58:02 PM
Administrator's note: See related discussion on the forum's FB extension here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/2945365845549243/


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Milestone: PH Navy ship docks on Pag-asa Island for 1st time
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosing
INQINQUIRER.net / 08:10 PM May 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—A Philippine Navy ship properly berthed on Pag-asa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea for the first time since the Philippines occupied the island to assert sovereignty over it.

BRP Ivatan (LC-298) docked at the port on the island, which is in the final stages of construction, last May 13, said Lt. Maivi Neri, acting public affairs officer of Naval Forces West.

< Edited >

BRP Ivatan was on Pag-asa Island for a resupply and troop rotation mission at the Philippine-occupied detachments in the West Philippine Sea.

The ship returned to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Sunday, May 17, after weeks of sailing in the West Philippine Sea, part of the Philippine- claimed waters in the disputed South China Sea.

For many years, those who needed to go to Pag-asa by ship had to ride a small boat first to get to the island because of the absence of a harbor.

< Edited >

In 2017, the Philippine government announced plans for the construction of a beaching ramp or a port on Pag-asa Island to enable ships to deliver construction materials for the building and repair of facilities.

Analysts believe that the repair and construction work on the island is the reason Chinese militia boats have maintained constant presence nearby since 2018.



Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/187781/milestone-ph-navy-ship-docks-on-pag-asa-island-for-1st-time#ixzz6MuU4E200
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PH Navy makes historic ship docking on Pag-asa island
Published May 19, 2020, 4:28 PM
By Martin Sasdongdong

https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/19/ph-navy-makes-historic-ship-docking-on-pag-asa-island/

BRP Ivatan (LC298), a landing craft, has made a historic dock at the nearly-completed port of Pagasa (Thitu) Island in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG or Spratly Islands)—making it the first ever Philippine Navy (PN) vessel that berthed on the Philippine-occupied island located in the West Philippine Sea, the military revealed on May 19, Tuesday.

Commodore Renato David, commander of Naval Forces West (NFW), said the docking of BRP Ivatan on Pagasa Island happened last May 13 as part of the troop’s rotation and reprovisioning (RORE) mission at the different KIG detachments in the West Philippine Sea.

Skippered by Cdr. Bennie B Demetillo, BRP Ivatan initially arrived in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on May 17 after weeks of traversing the West Philippine Sea for the RORE mission which also included Rizal Reef Detachment (RRD), Lawak, and Patag Islands.

David said BRP Ivatan “successfully conducted its task as a platform of NFW’s mission team for the rotation of troops in Pagasa detachment and delivery of the necessary supplies and goods for consumption of the sailors and marines assigned in the area for security purposes.”

According to Lieutenant Maivi Neri, NFW’s acting public affairs officer, Navy ships couldn’t dock on Pagasa Island since the 1980s because of the unfinished port.

Now, they were able to do so because the port was already 90-percent completed, Neri said. BRP Ivatan stayed briefly on Pagasa Island after its RORE mission before it returned to Palawan.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 25, 2020, 11:48:19 PM
Photos c/o a resident of the municipality.

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 27, 2020, 12:30:34 PM
Improvements on Pagasa have been a multi-department effort. The beaching ramp at the edge of Rancudo airfield is a DND effort, while sheltered port is a DOTr effort.
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on May 30, 2020, 02:19:09 PM
More photos shared

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 10, 2020, 01:03:11 PM
https://www.facebook.com/PalawanStar/posts/2711213655774897

Construction of Sheltered Port Phase 1 has ended in Hope Island, in the Freedom Municipal Hall funded by Department of Transportation and administered by Palawan Province Government.

Sheltered Port 2018 started working and has a total fund of more than P400 Million pesos.

Sheltered Port Phase 1 consists of concrete pavement, stain landing with installed 5-tons mooring bollard for small vessels and rubber dock fenders. Wharf fixes also included for larger vessels and also has Water Desalination Facility.

Meanwhile, waiting for the directive from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the West Phillipine Sea for the turn-over ceremony to offer.

Sheltered Port looks forward to helping residents, fishermen and military for faster deterioration or transportation of goods or cargo.

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 10, 2020, 01:23:53 PM
PH inaugurates beaching ramp on Pagasa Island in West PH Sea
Published June 9, 2020, 4:54 PM

https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/09/ph-inaugurates-beaching-ramp-on-pagasa-island-in-west-ph-sea/

The Department of National Defense (DND) led the momentous inauguration of a beaching ramp on Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on Tuesday, three days ahead of the celebration of the country’s 122nd Independence Day on June 12.

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 10, 2020, 01:24:39 PM
https://www.facebook.com/tribunephl/posts/2600317886846571

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana leads the inauguration of the AFP Basing Support Program (beaching ramp) in Pagasa Island in Palawan, the first phase of the government's Master Development Plan in the Philippine-occupied island.

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 10, 2020, 01:25:00 PM
PIA MIMAROPA
@pia_mimaropa
𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗡𝗔𝗡: Ang Beaching Ramp Project ay itinayo sa Islang Barangay ng Pag-Asa sa Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) sa West Philippine Sea (WPS).

https://twitter.com/pia_mimaropa/status/1270577573362163714

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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 10, 2020, 03:20:16 PM
Newly built beaching ramp on Pag-asa Island turned over to DND
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:53 AM June 10, 2020


Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1288960/newly-built-beaching-ramp-on-pag-asa-island-turned-over-to-dnd#ixzz6OwfJSQ4P
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Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: adroth on June 14, 2020, 03:32:08 AM
PAG-ASA GETS UPGRADE AMID CHINA OBJECTION
BY: FRANCES MANGOSING
JUNE 13, 2020

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188510/pag-asa-gets-upgrade-amid-china-objection

PAG-ASA ISLAND, West Philippine Sea—Beijing had tried to stop it, but a long-imagined development plan in the biggest and most strategically important Philippine-held island in the disputed Spratlys is finally taking shape.

< Edited >

It was May 28 on Pag-asa (“hope” in Filipino). The government officials were visiting the island to inspect a new beaching ramp ahead of its inauguration on June 9. They carefully surveyed the ramp, a project overseen by the Department of National Defense, in the scorching summer heat, and appeared to be proud and satisfied with the results.

Yesterday, Independence Day, was equally momentous: A sheltered port, a separate project of the Department of Transportation, was turned over to the municipality of Kalayaan, which includes Pag-asa.

The significance of the handover was not lost on Kalayaan officials, occurring as it did on the day that celebrates Philippine sovereignty. The new structures were also seen to provide hope to the settlers and troops who have had to endure difficult living conditions on the island.

< Edited >

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Benny Catacutan, a crane operator on one of the barges of Luzviminda Construction company. On Chinese vessels patrolling in the West Philippine Sea that are suspected to be part of maritime militia, he said their ships would come near Pag-asa island and go around. Referring to the BFAR ship docked approximately 5 nautical miles from the beach ramp, he said they would sometimes come that close. Catacutan has not been to his home in Pampanga since January. To contact his family, he said he has to buy a cellphone load worth P399 (roaming) that is only good for 24 hours.
INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON


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Emilio Liwanag Naval Station in Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan Group of Islands, Palawan.
INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON


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Aerial view of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan Group of Islands, Palawan as seen from the cockpit of a PAF C-130T. At left is its old runway. It is 1,290 meters long with a macadam surface which uses crushed corals. As of now, only 850 meters is being utilized for landing and take-off. At the other end is a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) ship.
INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON


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Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tours the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island during his visit to the Spratlys Group of islands off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017.  The visit Friday was aimed to assert the country's claim to the heartland of a disputed area where China is believed to have added missiles on man-made islands. The South China Sea issue is expected to be discussed in the 20th ASEAN Summit of Leaders next week.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: Ayoshi on June 14, 2020, 05:08:40 AM
Quote
Holding Ground, Building Hope on Pag-Asa Island
June 12, 2020

PAG-ASA ISLAND, West Philippine Sea—Chinese ships in their line of vision have become part of the daily life of Filipinos who call this speck of land smack in the middle of the South China Sea home.

The island’s name means “hope” in the native tongue, and it shelters some 100 Filipinos on the front line of a potentially dangerous international maritime dispute.

The Philippine government has just concluded two important rehabilitation projects on Pag-asa: a beaching ramp (overseen by the Department of National Defense) that was inaugurated on June 9, and a sheltered port (supervised by the Department of Transportation) that is to be turned over to the local government today, Independence Day.

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188410/holding-ground-building-hope-on-pag-asa-island

Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: Ayoshi on June 14, 2020, 05:13:33 AM
https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188410/holding-ground-building-hope-on-pag-asa-island

(https://globalnation.inquirer.net/files/2020/06/20200528lr-5.jpg)
No, the ship closest to the island is not one of the Chinese vessels frequently spotted by Pag-asa residents but a Philippine boat from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Those behind it, though, are Chinese ships. Inquirer Photo/Lyn Rillon
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Cloma Shrine in memory of Admiral Tomas Cloma, founder of Freedomland/ Kalayaan Island Group. Inquirer Photo/Lyn Rillon
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A Philippine Air Force C-130 lands on Pag-asa on ay 28, bringing Navy and defense officials along with Inquirer journalists for an inspection of major infrastructure projects on the island. Inquirer Photo/Lyn Rillon
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Navy personnel on the new beach ramp of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan Group of Islands, Palawan. Inquirer Photo/Lyn Rillon

Title: Re: Retitled: Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last
Post by: Ayoshi on June 14, 2020, 05:27:13 AM
https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188510/pag-asa-gets-upgrade-amid-china-objection

Quote
Runway next

With the completion of the beaching ramp and the sheltered port on Pag-asa, the government is now setting its sights on the repair of the decrepit runway, which mirrors the neglected state of the Philippine-held islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea.

< snipped >

Pag-asa’s 1.3-kilometer airstrip, called Rancudo Air Field, is grassy and unpaved, with eroded tips. Only 850 meters of it is currently usable, posing a challenge to pilots to land big military planes.

At least three days straight of sunny weather and zero rainfall are needed to be able to land planes on the island. Rain turns the runway to mud, making it too soft for planes to land on.

Ironically, the Philippines was the first of the claimant-countries in the South China Sea to build an airstrip in the Spratlys in the 1970s. It has since lagged behind in development.

Fourteen miles away from Pag-asa is Zamora (Subi) Reef, which China has transformed into a sprawling military outpost with a 3-km runway, hangars, radars, missile shelters and weapons systems. It’s just one of the seven massive Chinese man-made islands in the Spratlys.

(https://globalnation.inquirer.net/files/2020/06/20200528lr-13-1536x810.jpg)
The next phase of Pag-asa Island rehabilitation project is the repair of the unpaved runway. (Lyn Rillon)