DND: Beaching ramp means more supplies for Pag-asa Island repairs

Manila, June 3 — With the completion of the beaching ramp in Pag-asa Island, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said more supplies can be brought for the repairs of the Rancudo Airfield.

“(The) completion of the beaching ramp means (is a) big thing to us and to the people of Pag-asa, it means that we can now bring in more supplies especially (for) the repair of the runway because the next project will be the repair (of the dirt) runway (of Rancudo Airfield),” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines Wednesday.

Rancudo Airfield measures 1.2 kilometers and is capable of medium-sized military aircraft and was constructed out of packed sand and coral debris during the 1970s.

With the beaching ramp soon to be operational, Lorenzana said the living quarters of military personnel stationed there along with those of the 200 civilian settlers will be further improved.

“We can now bring in materials, we can bring in heavy equipment, we can also bring in construction materials to improve the living quarters of our people there and also help the people there because there are about 200 civilian residents in Pag-asa who are all fishermen, I think we could improve their lives better because we can bring in generators because they don’t have any electricity, those are the benefits there,” he added.

Despite having the beaching ramp, Lorenzana said there are no plans to militarize the Philippine-held features in the Spratlys.

“We will not militarize our islands there, we will not bring in military equipment to defend it because I don’t think there is any threat of attack (against) Pag-asa and (other Philippine-held) islands,” Lorenzana said. He earlier said the government is allocating PHP1.6 billion for improvement of the Pag-asa Island.