Tag Archive: Oyster Bay

Outgoing Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang said additional troops have been deployed to Batanes to help prevent intrusions, and suggested that a naval base be built there.

“The next na kailangan i-develop natin, maghanap tayo ng magandang naval base, o i-develop natin na naval base, dun sa Batanes,” Catapang said in an interview by state-run television PTV-4.

The military chief said he has already told the Navy about the plan, which should be implemented after building the naval base in Oyster Bay, Palawan.

The base being built in Oyster Bay is envisioned to guard against intrusions in the West Philippine Sea, where China is reclaiming and building structures on reefs. The planned facility in Batanes should guard against poachers, usually from Taiwan.

“I think this year they will ask for funding,” Catapang said.

Catapang made the remarks as he revealed that an additional platoon of Navy personnel have been sent to Batanes, where Filipino and Taiwanese coast guard members recently figured in standoffs.

“It’s the marching order of the President to also look into that area,” he said.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Milan, for his part, said forces in Batanes were increased “to secure mission-essential facilities being used for monitoring activities in the maritime domain.”

Navy personnel there are also tasked to plan for “improvements,” including the development of areas where boats can be docked, Millan told reporters by phone.

According to Millan, the Navy currently has no base in Batanes and sailors assigned there are only staying at offices of other government agencies.

Meanwhile, the Navy chief said more sailors were also deployed to Zambales and other “strategic areas” around the country to prevent the entry of poachers.

“Increasing ang poaching activities so we need to improve on our system and procedures… Ang problema lang, wala nga tayong pera to support the modernization of facilities,” he said. (John Roson)

– end –

A number of projects to modernize the Armed Forces may be delayed because of the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on part of the government’s use of funds from the Malampaya natural gas project, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

“Maaring maka-delay kasi marami tayong mga projects na acquisition of assets and equipment [involving funds from Malampaya],” Gazmin said in a press briefing Wednesday.

Gazmin did not specify what the projects were, but said those that would use funds from Malampaya are “for the protection” of the natural gas project, he said.

In November 2013, the Department of National Defense bidded out projects to build a pier, harbor, and support facilities in Oyster Bay, Palawan.

The projects, worth a total of P313.614 million, were set to use the Department of Energy’s capital outlay, according to the DND’s bid announcement.

The DOE’s capital outlay comprises funds from the Malampaya gas project, among others.

The Supreme Court issued the TRO last September. (John Roson)

– end –