Author Topic: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)  (Read 9055 times)

Ayoshi

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Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« on: November 19, 2016, 09:44:17 PM »
Administrator's note: See also

Pag-asa rehabilitation moving ahead . . . at last

Solar Power Plant on Pag-asa


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Aerial view of Pag-asa Island


Photo: BBC


Photo: adroth.ph
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 02:04:43 PM by adroth »

Ayoshi

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Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 09:52:14 PM »
PH military chief visits Pag-asa Island in West PH Sea | rappler - May 11, 2015
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PAG-ASA ISLAND, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr on Monday, May 11, visited the disputed Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) at a time that tension in the region continues to escalate due to maritime disputes.

< snipped >

Pag-asa is the second biggest naturally occurring island in the West Philippines. It is home to a small community of about a hundred Filipinos who depend largely on government subsidy.

A military C-130 plane brought Catapang to the island and allowed him to go around the West Philippine Sea to check the status of Philippine-occupied features in the area and nearby reclamation activities of China.

Strong Message: Armed Forces chief Gregorio Catapang Jr and Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez in Pag-Asa Island. Rappler photo

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YouTube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYexI_qQInY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyjPo_n74Uw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCT3KvJdMjg

Ayoshi

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 09:55:47 PM »
PHL to build P450-M seaport on disputed Pag-asa island | GMA news - November 19
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In a statement, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations member Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel noted that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is spending P450 million to build the seaport in an island located 518 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

"Funding for the project has been included in the House-approved 2017 General Appropriations Act, under the DOTr's aggregate P3.98-billion spending program for the maritime sector," Pimentel said.

In a report submitted to Congress, the DOTr said the new port would "vastly improve accessibility to the area and bolster the country's claims in the West Philippine Sea."

< snipped >

Pag-asa island is part of the Kalayaan Island Group, which is at the western section of the Sprtaly archipelago.

< snipped >

Pimentel also called on the University of the Philippines' Marine Science Institute and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to consider putting up a research station on Pag-asa.

He likewise urged the Department of Energy to find ways to provide the 37.2-hectare island a renewable and stable source of electricity.

sirius

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 04:27:23 PM »
From last year, but relevant to one of my hobbies:

Spratlys DX0P DXpedition Participant Evacuated for Medical Emergency | ARRL - April 23 2015

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One of the participants in the just-ended DX0P DXpedition to the disputed Spratly Islands was airlifted from Pag Asa Island after suffering a medical emergency. Chito Pastor, WW6CP, became ill just as the DXpedition was starting to wrap up on April 20.

“The Medevac just arrived half an hour ago!” DXpedition leader Leo Almazan, WA6LOS, told ARRL early on April 23. “Chito is on his way to the hospital!"

Almazan said that he and four other team members were able to return to the Philippines on another flight. The remaining team members will remain on Pag Asa until a Philippine Navy Nomad aircraft takes them off the island on April 24. “From what I heard, they were all busy snorkeling all day,” said Almazan, who is now at his Angeles City home in the Philippines. He said he plans to fly stateside next month for Dayton Hamvention®.

According to Amateur Radio DX.com, an Adventist Medical Aviators Services aircraft that picked up Pastor landed safely in Puerto Princesa.

...

A Philippines TV news account posted on the InterAksyon.com website on April 22 reported that Pastor developed kidney problems from drinking from the highly saline water supply on Pag Asa after the DXpedition’s drinking water supply ran short. According to the InterAksyon report, a Chinese naval vessel had “harassed a Philippine Air Force patrol flight in the Spratlys” by firing an illumination round on April 21. Almazan told ARRL that the Philippines military later backed away from that account, but the incident caused the postponement of future flights to Pag Asa Island, including the Philippine Navy flight that was to evacuate Pastor.

The military aircraft set to evacuate Pastor later developed mechanical problems, causing further delay, and the Adventist flight was subsequently cleared to make the medical mission on April 23.

The InterAksyon report noted that China “has embarked on an aggressive reclamation and construction spree” in the Spratlys, which are claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other countries. The Philippines National Telecommunications Commission issued the DX0P license.

Ayoshi

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 05:41:19 PM »
Plans to repair West PH Sea runway still on hold | inquirer.net - January 12, 2017
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The Philippines’ plans to rehabilitate its eroded airstrip on the Pag-Asa Island (Thitu) in the South China Sea remains on hold for now as the relationship with rival claimant China continues to improve.

“Because of the warming relationship with China, we defer not to make any aggressive action in the West Philippine Sea,” Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Eduardo Año told reporters on Thursday.

The Philippine government under the previous administration planned a repair of the 1.3-kilometer airstrip of the Rancudo Airfield and even set aside P800 million for it.


dr demented

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2018, 04:09:26 AM »
https://amti.csis.org/philippines-launches-spratly-repairs/

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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.



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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.



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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.







adroth

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 12:50:38 PM »
tba

adroth

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 12:50:46 PM »
tba

adroth

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 12:51:57 PM »
https://www.facebook.com/navalforceswest/photos/a.2924379140950267/2924379324283582/

Literally means “Hope” and internationally known as “Thitu Island”. With an area of 37.2 hectares, it is the largest of the Philippine-administered islands. It lies about 480 kilometers (300 mi) west of Puerto Princesa City. The Philippine government formally established the Municipality of Kalayaan on Pag-asa Island on 11 June 1978, by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596 series of 1978. Pag-asa Island is low-lying, with trees, shrubs and sand bars. It is surrounded by coral reefs, populated with rusting wrecks visible above water. The island has a 1,300 meters (1,400 yd) airstrip called Rancudo Airfield, which serves both military and civilian air transportation needs. PAF regularly sends aircraft to Palawan for reconnaissance and reprovisioning missions in the Philippine-controlled regions in the Spratly chain. The airstrip on the island makes such important missions easier.

The island serves as a town proper to the municipality of Kalayaan. The civilian population which in 2018, numbered about 184, was introduced in 2001. They live in a few dozen houses, scattered throughout the island.


girder

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2021, 08:16:32 PM »
[Video] Barkong maghahatid ng relief supplies sa Pag-asa Island, bibiyahe na @ UNTV

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Naghahanda nang bumiyahe ang isa pang barko ng PCG na maghahatid ng relief supplies sa Pag-asa Island na napinsala rin ng Bagyong Odette.

Thankfully, the evacuation center was left intact, though most buildings are damaged in some way.













adroth

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2021, 12:18:59 AM »

eagle from davao

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2022, 09:20:50 AM »
[Video] Barkong maghahatid ng relief supplies sa Pag-asa Island, bibiyahe na @ UNTV

Quote
Naghahanda nang bumiyahe ang isa pang barko ng PCG na maghahatid ng relief supplies sa Pag-asa Island na napinsala rin ng Bagyong Odette.

Thankfully, the evacuation center was left intact, though most buildings are damaged in some way.













Building common or typical structures in Pag-Asa island is a bad investment. AFP/ govt must revise this policy of building code. AFP must build structures that will survive and resistant to storm, indirect artillery fire and function as a bunker in times of war. It will be a waste of money if they rebuild and construct the same type of structure. They must also construct below ground structure to store arms, ammo,food and other essential material needed for long siege .

girder

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2022, 02:17:04 PM »
Building common or typical structures in Pag-Asa island is a bad investment. AFP/ govt must revise this policy of building code. AFP must build structures that will survive and resistant to storm, indirect artillery fire and function as a bunker in times of war. It will be a waste of money if they rebuild and construct the same type of structure. They must also construct below ground structure to store arms, ammo,food and other essential material needed for long siege .

There are a number of problems with that idea.

First is the assumption of the utility of investing significant amounts of funds, time and effort in constructing hardened military infrastructure on such an isolated island with only a small detachment assigned for protection. Unless the island hosts anti-ship and anti-air missile batteries or is supported by nearby naval forces, any dedicated sizable invasion force would be able to take the island. Frankly, any sizeable garrison force capable of repelling a determined attack would stretch if not surpass the island's infrastructure and capacity (power, water, food). Something that would necessitate even more investment to address. And would frankly necessarily transform the nature of the settlement from the civilian municipality that the government has spent decades building to a military garrison.

Second, the utility of a settlement/outpost such as Pag-asa and the other small detachments in the archipelago is the ability to hold territory while maintaining only a minimal footprint. Notice how despite the Chinese's overwhelming material advantage, they are unable to dislodge even the smallest outpost of other claimants. It is relatively easy to set up installations, much harder to get rid of someone else's barring overt hostile action that would warrant a response and escalation towards open conflict.

The one thing that is rational is the need for more weather hardened buildings in our holdings in the Kalayaan Island Group. While the severity of the typhoon that passed through the area was a rare occurrence in the decades of the municipality's history, Climate Change necessitates the creation of more climate resistant infrastructure nationwide. The island already had an evacuation center built to necessary specifications and it survived relatively unscathed.

The task of "building back better" however would necessitate the finishing of existing work on the logistical links of the island (the repair works on runway to be specific, as the port and beaching ramp have already been completed), as this would be necessary to bring building materials and equipment to the island in the first place.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 02:24:53 PM by girder »

eagle from davao

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2022, 10:35:59 PM »
All other claimants such as vietnam, china and taiwan constructed heavy structures that have dual purpose that we can qualify as bunker, reinforced against artillery or explosive. If we see closely the structures they constructed, they are heavily reinforced and well built for long term service. They are aware that they are building structures that are contested by the others and the  possibility of military action is real. To act nice and be agreeable to others that are willing the take direct action against us, i find it  illogical and  counter productive in protecting our claim.
It is also more economical if we build structures that can last more 50 years considering the expense and logistical difficulties of transferring materials from palawan to pag-asa island.
My point,better build heavy structures that have dual service now than thinking to build later when possibility of conflict comes. To build or reinforce only when that time comes,it will be too late or even more expensive.

girder

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Re: Pag-asa Island (Thitu)
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2022, 12:48:19 AM »
I think you are severely overestimating the protection that can be afforded by the relatively exposed bunkers positioned in those islands. In the age of long-range cruise and ballistic missiles and bunker busting smart bombs, such positions are sitting ducks, especially since the islands in the Spratlys are far too small and flat to offer much in the way of good defensive geography. They're also very exposed, as illustrated by how easily facilities can be ID's by even civilian satellite photography.

The support infrastructure such as the port, runways, fisherman shelters and monitoring stations offer much greater returns in securing our territorial claims than hardened military bunkers.

Also your statement about constructing more robust buildings being more economical because of the the difficulty of transporting materials to the island doesn't make sense. It is exactly that logistical issue that keeps us from being able to build them in the first place. That's why the Coast Guard built their monitoring station using prefabricated parts. Heavier structures may not require as many repairs or replacement as lighter ones, but the fundamental problem remains.

Also, direct military actions in the Spartly's have not been the case, as you so state. No one has evicted anyone else's facilities by force, despite tensions and militarization of islands. In fact relations with other claimant Vietnam are much more amicable, while Taiwan has only kept to the status quo. The only exception to this is the PRC, but even then they have not conducted direct military action to evict other claimants facilities.

In any case this is all a matter of budget and priorities. The claimants that built extensive military facilities were frontline Cold War states that were either military dictatorships (Taiwan) or communist states (Vietnam, PRC) which had had direct experience with open conflict with one another over territories. (See: Battle of Guningtou, Johnson South Reef Skirmish) Such investments weren't made out of pure strategic foresight, but by their experiences elsewhere, which made committing resources to such endeavors much bigger priorities for their governments than otherwise.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2022, 01:40:53 AM by girder »