PH hopes to finish beaching ramp in Spratlys by early 2018
The Philippines hopes to complete the construction of a beaching ramp on Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) by early 2018.
The construction of a beaching ramp is the first stage of the upgrade of the facilities in the disputed island. It will allow ships to dock so that heavy construction materials could be delivered.
Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said on Tuesday that the monsoon rains have hampered the construction of the ramp.
“While its construction is ongoing albeit intermittently depending on good weather, we expect its completion by early 2018,” he told reporters.
When the beaching ramp is constructed, the government can further improve the rest of the facilities in the island, including the repair of the runway.
Andolong also said it will only be until then that the Department of Agriculture will build a fishing port.
“May developing community na tayo dun na mas madali protektahan, hatidan ng supplies at puntahan ng mga bisita balang araw ‘pag natuloy ang iniisip ng gobyerno na gawing tourist spot ng Pagasa,” he said.
(We have a developing community there that is easier to protect, to ferry supplies, and for visitors to go to one day when the government’s plan to make Pagasa a tourist spot would push through.)
The government has allocated P1.6 billion to improve the facilities in the island.
Pagasa Island is the seat of government and the biggest island claim of the Philippines in the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratlys). It is the only part of the West Philippine Sea that is inhabited by civilians. /je
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