MANILA—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.