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)