Author Topic: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea  (Read 25254 times)

adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2017, 08:46:41 PM »
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.

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“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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adroth

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« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 09:12:17 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2018, 10:18:27 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 >

El_Filibusterismo1978

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2018, 10:39:01 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..

adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2018, 10:43:28 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



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



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.



adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2018, 05:43:33 PM »
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.



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.



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.





« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 11:39:14 AM by adroth »

dr demented

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2018, 08:57:41 AM »
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.

adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2018, 01:58:30 PM »
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.

dr demented

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2018, 10:39:12 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

eagle from davao

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2018, 08:50:30 PM »
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.

adroth

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2018, 05:35:54 PM »
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



dr demented

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2018, 10:00:31 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.

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Re: Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2018, 08:06:46 AM »
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 >

=====



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.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 08:21:30 PM by adroth »