MANILA—Malacanang assured on Sunday that authorities are keeping a close watch on activities in the West Philippine Sea.
Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said the safety of the public is the government’s main concern as he noted the recent warning issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
The CAAP on Saturday alerted aircraft pilots in anticipation of China’s rocket launch on Hainan Island.
CAAP’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), a warning on the possible dangers on flight routes, was withdrawn after the successful launching of the Long March-7 new generation rocket, which is expected to become the main carrier for China’s future space missions.
“Walang dapat ipangamba dahil masinsin namang tinututukan ang mga kaganapan katulad niyan at ang ating CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) ay nakapagpalabas ng napapanahong babala o notice sa mga piloto ng mga sasakyang panghimpapawid upang umiwas nga doon sa inakalang maaaring daanan ‘nung rocket na iyong nabanggit,” said Secretary Coloma in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.
“Ang mahalaga lang dito, malaman ng ating mga mamamayan na 24 oras, pitong araw sa isang linggo, hindi po tinatantanan ng ating mga awtoridad ‘yung pagtutok sa ganyang klaseng mga kaganapan para nga magkaroon tayo ng kaalaman at kahandaan at para manatili tayong ligtas,” Coloma further said.
The CAAP alert, which covered about 250 kilometers west of Manila Bay to 430 kilometers west of Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan, was issued from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. last Saturday.
China’s Long March-7 new generation carrier rocket blasted off from a new launch facility in Wenchang, a city in the southern province of Hainan.
The medium-sized, two-stage rocket is expected to become the main carrier for China’s future space missions. It can carry up to 13.5 tons to low-Earth orbit.
The re-entry module of the Long March-5 rocket is set to return to Earth at a desert in Inner Mongolia on Sunday afternoon after orbiting the planet 13 times.
According to reports, China is planning to launch its biggest carrier rocket, the Long March-5, from the same facility later this year.