By Francis T. Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday that it is looking to improve the runway in Pag-asa Island, Palawan to make it all weather.
In an interview, Lorenzana also said that it is also eyeing to improve the facilities in the island for the benefit of troops and residents living there.
He also did not discount the possibility of allowing tourists visit the place as part of government’s long-term goal.
Pag-asa Island, it was recalled, has a dilapidated airstrip, a five-bed lying-in clinic, and a small elementary school built for soldiers and residents.
Once a strictly military installation, Pag-asa Island was opened to civilian settlement in 2002.
“We already requested for a budget. Once it is approved we will start the repair and improvement, including the paving off 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 explained that the improvement of the runway and other facilities in the island has the “blessing” of President Duterte, who personally gave the go signal to push through with the project.
Lorenzana said the project to improve the runway and other facilities on Pag-asa Island will start in the coming months.
“It’s part of his (President Duterte’s) priority project so that anytime our planes can land there and bring in supplies to troops and residents living there,” he said.
Aside from improving the living condition of people on the island, Lorenzana also said that they are also open to the possibility of letting foreign and local tourists visit the place to help boost the tourism industry in Palawan.