THE Philippine Navy is looking into the possibility of establishing a detachment on Fuga Island in Cagayan to boost its monitoring capability amid reports that Chinese investors are planning to develop it into an economic hub and tourist destination.
Philippine Navy Chief Robert Empedrad said Fuga Island is a strategic site for a detachment.
Situated north of Luzon, the island is part of the Babuyan Archipelago.
Monitoring vessels passing in the area would be easier if a detachment were established there, Empedrad said.
"We're working na magkaroon din tayo ng detachment sa ano, sa mga strategic [islands] because the Fuga is... very important, very strategic kasi ang location niya,” he said in a press conference.
"Kung meron tayong mae-establish na stations, so that the Navy can monitor all vessels passing through that sea lines of communications...At saka daanan kasi ng mga submarines 'yan eh, so kailangang mabantayan din natin na ano, now that we have antisubmarine capability," he added.
He said they are coordinating with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority in exploring the possibility.
Aside from Fuga, Empedrad said Chinese businessmen are also eyeing the development of nearby islands, Grande and Chiquita.
These islands are located at the mouth of Subic Bay and were used as defense perimeter of the Americans in the 1990s.
Earlier, the Navy expressed concern over the plan to develop the said islands, saying the security and maritime implications of such a plan should be considered. (SunStar Philippines)