Air Force to repair Pagasa Island airstrip
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the planned freeze on construction projects on the disputed territories in the South China Sea, one island’s airstrip is set to be repaired, Air Force officials said.
In a media briefing, Lieutenant General Jeffrey Delgado, Philippine Air Force Commanding General, said Wednesday that repairs would be done on the Rancudo Airfield on Philippine-occupied Pagasa island.
“We are addressing that, there were just hitches during the previous years, lack of funds like that, but now we have the money, and we should be able to repair it,” Delgado said at the Villamor Airbase.
Rancudo Airfield, which is a 1.3 kilometer stretch of concrete, can still land medium-sized aircrafts but repairs are needed for “security purposes.”
Major General Edgar Fallorina, Chief of Air Staff, said that the construction, and bidding, is a two-way process and the first part was finished through the efforts of the Philippine Navy.
He added that the first part is a naval project. It includes dredging to allow construction materials for the runway repair to begin.
“I understand they have determined the winning bidder that’s for the preparation alone for the island so that construction materials can come in,” Fallorina said.
“The second part is for the runway itself, so right now we are content with the Navy project, and hopefully it will be finished this year.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario heeded the advise of United States diplomat Danny Russell for a freeze on the construction activities to defuse tension in the area.
“Bottomline we need to repair that, but on how that is, that is being addressed right now,” Delgado said.
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