The Philippine Navy signed a memorandum of agreement with the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport on Monday, formalizing the construction of naval support and airbase in Casiguran, Aurora, which would expand its presence in the country’s northern boundary.
The deal allows the construction of a 12,000 hectares support facility and naval air detachment in the Apeco-managed zone.
The deal would allow the Navy to establish a foothold and significantly boost its long-term force projection to protect the Philippines’ national maritime interests.
In August 2020, Northern Luzon Command and Naval Forces Northern Luzon completed the construction and installation of sovereign markers in the 11 uninhabited islands in the Northern Philippines.
The sovereign marker symbolizes the assertion of our country’s absolute sovereignty over the said uninhabited islands and over the surrounding territorial waters. This marker also signifies actual physical occupation and development efforts that remove any doubt on the Philippines’ ownership of these islands.
The 11 islands were selected based on their strategic relevance. These islands are located at the edges of the island groups of the Babuyan Group of Islands and the Batanes Island Group. Making the sovereign markers clearly visible to ships transiting the waterways connecting the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
The Philippine Navy is mandated to conduct naval and maritime operations to secure the Philippine sovereignty and national territorial integrity. It may from foreign and domestic threats, including the strategic location of Casiguran, Aurora in the eastern part of Central Luzon region, facing the Philippine Sea, which has been identified as one of the strategic areas covering the eastern border of the country.
Philippine Navy Completes a 5-day Amphibious Drill in Mindanao
The Philippines Navy units in Eastern Mindanao have further upgraded their maritime security capability through its five-day amphibious exercise in the Sarangani Bay, General Santos in December 2020.
The drills covered two parts, the assessment of the readiness of naval units deployed in the Eastern Mindanao area and the evaluation of the existing doctrines in maritime security operations.
According to Commodore Palces, it is part of the Navy’s efforts to better equip the region’s naval assets, especially in terms of maritime security.
The official said the drills were participated in by 350 sailors, 160 marine troops, and 70 reservists. These include the Philippine Navy SEAL, Sea, Air, and Land special operations team, and the Naval Combat Engineering team.
Philippine Navy warship joins the drills are Jacinto-class Corvette, namely BRP Mabini PS-36, one of the three Jacinto-class corvettes or patrol vessels and considered one of the most modern ships in the Philippine Navy.
The other involved naval assets were the BRP Magat Salamat PS-20, a Malvar class corvettes. The previous configuration of this warship is a minesweeper. In contrast, the others are configured as rescue patrol craft escort and patrol craft escort ships.
It is also attended by patrol vessel BRP Liwanag PC-118 and a Multi-Purpose Fast Attack Craft Craft BA-494.