Soon to rise: PH navy barracks, health center in Pag-asa Island
To boost PH presence, prevent illegal Chinese incursions

Soon to rise: PH navy barracks, rural health center in Pag-asa Island

/ 12:56 PM May 16, 2024

China asserted its sovereign rights over Pagasa Island on Thursday, accusing the Philippines, in return, of “illegally occupying” the area.

Philippine soldier Tychico Octobre patrols a beach in Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) at the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, on May 11, 2015. The Spratlys are considered a potential Asian flashpoint, and claimant nations have expressed alarm as China has embarked on massive reclamation activity. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RITCHIE B. TONGO

PAG-ASA ISLAND, West Philippine Sea — In line with the government’s bid to boost Filipino presence in the West Philippine Sea and prevent “illegal incursions of China,” a Philippine Navy barracks and a Super Rural Health Unit will soon be built in Pag-asa Island in the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri flew to Pag-asa Island on Thursday to lead the groundbreaking ceremony of the two infrastructure projects.


READ: China claims sovereignty over Pag-asa Island; accuses PH of encroachment


Along with him were Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva and Deputy Majority Leader JV Ejercito.

In his opening speech, Zubiri labelled the senators’ visit to the island as historic. He then expressed joy, pointing out that the chamber’s endeavors do not end in words, but also transpire to actions.

“Ang investment natin sa infrastructure sa Pag-asa Island at sa Kalayaan ay investment sa ating seguridad sa West Philippine Sea,” said Zubiri.

(Our investment to infrastructure projects in Pag-asa Island and Kalayaan is our investment to our security in the West Philippine Sea.)

“It will show China and the rest of the world na may thriving community sa Kalayaan at may functioning military unit ready to complement our patrols in our territory and exclusive economic zone,” he emphasized.

(It will show China and the rest of the world that we have a thriving community in Kalayaan and that we have a functioning military unit ready to complement our patrols in our territory and exclusive economic zone.)


Meanwhile, Zubiri said the Super Rural Health Unit will be equipped with laboratory and birthing facilities.

While the eventual establishment of the said infrastructures is already a momentous change, the Senate chief emphasized that it will not be the end.

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“This is just the start. We will continue to strengthen our defense posture here in Kalayaan, and we will continue to support the development of the municipality as a thriving community and a lively economy, and even an ecotourism destination here in Palawan,” said Zubiri

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TAGS: Pag-asa Island, West Philippine Sea

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