Pag-asa run­way con­struc­tion to pur­sue

Manila Times - - REGIONS - DEMPSEY REYES

THE con­struc­tion of a run­way in Pa­gasa (Thitu) Is­lands is ex­pected to start got a bud­get for it, De­fense Sec­re­tary

Loren­zana said part of the fund will be sourced from the bud­get of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines’ (AFP) Mod­ern­iza­tion Pro­gram.

The project will cost P1.6bil­lion and con­tracts are now be­ing pro­cessed.

“It takes time for th­ese pro­cesses to be done and prob­a­bly by July next year, this will be done be­cause the sea is al­ready get­ting rough so this con­trac­tor is only wait­ing for fair weather to bring con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als,” he told re­porters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Loren­zana said first to be con­structed is a bridg­ing ramp so the con­trac­tor’s ships can un­load equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als in the dis­puted ar­eas.

The Philip­pines takes own­er­ship of nine ar­eas from the Kalayaan (Spratly) Group of Is­lands which in­clude Pag-asa, Kota (Loaita) Is­land, Ayun­gin (Sec­ond Thomas) Shoal, Lawak (Nan­shan) Is­land, Parola (Northeast Cay) Is­land, Patag (Flat) Is­land, Rizal (Com­modore) Reef, Likas (West York) Is­land and Panata (Lankiam Cay) Is­land.

In April, Loren­zana along with Armed Forces chief Gen. Ed­uardo went to Pag-asa Is­lands to show sovereignty over the dis­puted sea which caused alarm to Bei­jing.

He added that the con­struc­tion of the run­way is now on­go­ing but the con­trac­tor is still wait­ing for fair weather to con­tinue the project.

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