PH Navy in talks with CEZA for naval detachment plans on Fuga Island | Global News

PH Navy in talks with CEZA for naval detachment plans on Fuga Island

/ 05:06 PM August 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Talks are underway between the Philippine Navy and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) for the setting up of a naval detachment on Fuga Island, one of the reported islands that Chinese investors have shown interest to develop into economic hubs. 

Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad stressed the strategic importance of the island, being the second northernmost island group in the country.

“We are engaging CEZA and merong imprimatur ang ating (there is an imprimatur by the) Secretary of National Defense that the Navy should put a naval station. We can even establish ‘yung littoral monitoring station, lahat ng dumadaan makikita natin (so we can monitor everyone who passes through).” he told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday.


Fuga Island, a coastal town in Babuyan archipelago, has both access to the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. It is also home to telecommunication cables.


The CEZA has secured an agreement for proposed $2-billion “Smart City” to be built by Xiamen-based Fong Zhi Enterprise Corp. on Fuga Island last April during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China for the Belt and Road Initiative Forum.

The Philippine Navy and public officials later raised security concerns about the plan.

“Dapat meron tayong Navy dyan so we can monitor ships transiting that very important [area], saka daanan kasi ng mga submarines yan so kailangan mabantayan. Baka kung tanggalin ‘yung mga dagat sa Pilipinas, maraming submarines ang nakapaligid sa atin,” Empedrad said.

(We need to have Navy there so we can monitor ships transiting that very important area, and submarines also pass through there so we need to guard it. Maybe if we remove all the waters surrounding the Philippines, there might be plenty of submarines around us.) /je


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TAGS: CEZA, China, Fuga Island, investors, navy

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