The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines planning to improve runway in Pagasa Island

March 19, 2017

The Philippine government is planning to improve the runway in Pagasa Island in West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday. “We already have a runway there, but unpaved, it is just made of land that’s why it get soft when it rains. We will cement it so that we can always go there without waiting for five sunny days to make sure that there is a hard runway,” Lorenzana said in a text message to Daily Manila Shimbun. Lorenzana did not give details although he added that the defense department had requested funding for the 1.3 kilometer runway. “We already requested for the budget. Once it is approved we will start the repair and improvement, including paving of the runway to make it all weather,” Lorenzana said. “I am not at liberty to announce the costing yet. But it will cover the cementing of the runway and improvement of facilities for the troops and residents there,” he added. Lorenzana noted the importance of improving the runway to promote tourism and to make it more accessible, especially in sending supplies to soldiers stationed there. “Yes and we will bring tourists there. Aside from that, we can often send supplies to our troops there,” he said. Just last Friday, Lorenzana with other military officials, including Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Eduardo Año, were supposed to visit the area but it was cancelled because the runway got soft after the Island experience rain in the previous day. The defense department said the military will have to wait for five sunny days before an aircraft will be allowed to land on the runway to assure its safety. (Robina Asido/DMS)